Advent International is rumored to be in on the fight to purchase William Hill as this company is reportedly focused on buying all of the assets by this reputable sportsbook in both Europe and the UK. At the moment, Advent also has two competitors in this auction – Apollo Global and 888 Holdings, the latter being one of the biggest online gambling operators in the world.
The Caesars-William Hill Deal
When Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill, the brand had a total of 1,400 shops. Caesars fully rebranded William Hill in a quest to start selling the non-US assets. At the time, the company hoped for a price of around $2 billion for those non-US assets. Tom Reeg, the CEO of Caesars, stated that the reason why William Hill is subject to this type of change is the fact that there are plenty of other companies that are able to do a better job than Caesars.
The Times has stated that all of the experts in the gambling industry are favoring Apollo to purchase the stocks, but they are not excluding 888. Apollo’s deep pockets make it an ideal candidate, while the experience 888 has in the industry also gives it leverage to be considered. Both companies have a global reach and gaming experience that give them more leverage for the William Hill asset acquisition.
As for Advent, however, not many experts are optimistic about the company. This is primarily due to the fact that it has never actually had any deals with a gambling entity. A purchase of the William Hill assets would mark its debut, and turning over high-value assets such as William Hill’s operations to an entity without experience isn’t likely.
Advent International Looking for Expansion
Advent, like Apollo, is a private equity firm. Also like Apollo, it has deep pockets. It is the sixth-largest private equity firm globally – two spots behind Apollo – and could afford the William Hill purchase. As it tries to move up in the ranks, Advent is looking to capitalize on the frenzy surrounding the global sports gambling and iGaming activity and hopes it can break in with a massive purchase. While it is currently linked to over 376 different companies spanning an array of activity, it has no background in casinos or sports gambling.
The race for William Hill’s non-US assets continues to heat up and, while Apollo and 888 are in the lead, other players could try to threaten them. There are rumors that Entain and Betfred could throw their names in the hat; however, nothing has been confirmed out of either company. Caesars wouldn’t mind, as greater competition means a greater price tag. For now, the company isn’t weighing in on which might be a better suitor.