Attempts to derail Caesars Entertainment’s acquisition of the massive William Hill sports gambling operator have failed. A complaint filed against William Hill by two investment firms that accused it of misleading shareholders and the general public has been thrown out by the High Court of Justice in England and Wales, marking a definitive step in the acquisition process that can essentially now avoid being reversed. As a result, and in anticipation of the pending sale of its assets, William Hill is expected to delist from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) tomorrow.
Caesars Ready To Embrace William Hill
Last month, hedge funds GWM Asset Management and HBK Capital Management voiced their concerns over the possible acquisition, arguing that the sportsbook operator had “failed to disclose potentially material information” related to the transaction. However, the High Court judges didn’t agree when they heard the funds’ complaint and a statement issued by Caesars and William Hill yesterday indicates that the decision has been finalized.
The High Court of Justice’s approval was a necessary step in the acquisition process following the introduction of the hedge funds’ complaint. With the green light now given, there is virtually nothing that could prevent the arrangement from moving forward. The $3.7-billion deal is close to the finish line and, barring any unexpected and last-minute surprises, could be completed at any time.
William Hill Off The Market
As of 7:30 AM London time tomorrow, trading of William Hill’s stock will be suspended on the LSE. The operator adds that the last share movement, including registrations and transfers, will be today, and “the cancellation of the admission to trading of William Hill Shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities have also been applied for and will, subject to the Scheme becoming Effective, take effect by 8:00 a.m. on 23 April 2021.” Any outstanding credit or cash owed following the suspension will be paid on May 7.
There hasn’t been much standing in the way of the acquisition, with the exception of the hedge funds’ complaint. The arrangement had been approved by William Hill shareholders last November and cleared an antitrust review by US authorities a month later. Caesars first announced the potential acquisition last September and is now ready to cross the finish line. Company shareholders seem to be pleased with the news, as the stock price is seeing a slight recovery. On March 29, it was at $82.44 before climbing to $96.33 on April 9. It trailed off slightly since, dropping to $88.75 this past Monday. However, seemingly in response to the news, an uptick to $89.88 was seen as the markets closed yesterday. William Hill’s stock, for obvious reasons, is dropping and closed at $15.01 yesterday afternoon.