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William Hill shareholders approve Caesars deal

| By Daniel O'Boyle
William Hill shareholders have approved a takeover bid from Caesars, with shareholders representing 86% of shares backing the deal.
Weekend report William Hill

A total of 1,251, or 81.3%, of William Hill shareholders, holding 86.6% of the business’ issued share capital, voted for the £2.9bn (€3.17bn/$3.72bn) deal.

Overall, 54.6% of William Hill shares were represented in voting, meaning that 47.3% of all the operator’s shares voted in favour.

A slightly higher portion of shareholders – 87.1% – voted for the implementation of Caesars’ takeover scheme. Both measures required approval from a majority of voting shares to come into effect.

“We are pleased to have received William Hill shareholder support for our recommended cash offer,” Caesars chief executive Tom Reed said. “We continue to work towards satisfying the remaining regulatory conditions and look forward to completing the transaction next year and integrating William Hill US into our Caesars sports betting and igaming franchise.”

Under the deal, Caesars will acquire William Hill’s 1.08bn shares for £2.72 each. The target of the acquisition will be William Hill’s US betting operations, with the rest of its business expected to be sold.

Caesars said that the enlarged operation could generate up to $700m in net revenue during the 2021 fiscal year.

In addition, Caesars revealed that Austria’s competition authorities have approved the deal, determining that it did not violate the Austrian Cartel Act of 2005.

Caesars added that it expects all necessary regulatory approvals to be obtained in the second quarter of 2021 and possibly as early as the end of March 2021. 

The acquisition follows Caesars being acquired by regional operator Eldorado Resorts in a $17.3bn reverse-merger deal that closed earlier this year, putting 55 casinos under the operator’s control.

William Hill’s board unanimously agreed to approve the deal in September, choosing it over a rival bid from investment fund Apollo Global.

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