William Hill shareholders have given their approval for the takeover bid by Caesars Entertainment on Thursday in the company’s headquarters in London.
Caesars Moves Close to William Hill US Acquisition
Expectedly, William Hill shareholders vouched their support for the £2.9 billion takeover bid put forth by Caesars Entertainment. The vote took place in William Hill’s London head office and reunited all shareholders during an extraordinary meeting.
Of the vote, 87% went in favor of the transaction with a sizeable chunk of shareholders, some 13% voting against. Overall, shareholders cast 581,793,399 votes and withheld 1,229,303 votes. As per the agreement, Caesars is acquiring 1.08 billion shares worth £2.72 each.
The Board of Director agreed to the transaction previously in October and was not part of the decision-making process on Thursday. Speaking last month, William Hill executives confirmed that the takeover is in the company’s best interest and the Board was prepared to act on it.
Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reed said that the company was pleased with William Hill’s shareholders’ decision to accept the transaction. Moving forward, Reed noted, Caesars and William Hill will work towards meeting any and all remaining regulatory conditions in order to integrate William Hill US into Caesars’ growing iGaming and sports betting facilities.
The Regulatory Road Ahead
As regulatory clearance is awaited, Caesars already has a plan for the future, expecting $700 million in net revenue in FY 2021. Caesars was able to obtain approval by Austria’s regulator as well, moving the deal closer to realization.
The current schedule puts completion anywhere between the second and third quarters of 2021, with the most likely date set for the end of March 2021. The shareholders’ vote went as expected, and the majority went with the Board’s decision as well that of Fred Done, Betfred owner and William Hill’s largest private shareholder.
All the success so far has been encouraging for both companies. However, Caesars still has to garner the approval of the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States.
While the United States’ chunk of the business has its future cut for it, speculation about William Hill’s non-US assets continues to swirl, with several potential buyers showing, or reportedly showing interest.