Entain Prepares for Another Bidding War
Entain (LON: ENT), the multi-national gambling operator, is considering making a bid for William Hill’s non-US assets. The news comes just a few months after Entain rejected a takeover bid from MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).
In April, Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) acquired William Hill for roughly $4 billion. However, the company is looking to sell William Hill’s non-US assets within the next year as it aims to pay off a $2 billion debt.
It seems that Entain is considering making a bid for the assets. If Entain is successful in its bid, it will gain an even larger market share in the UK, where it already owns Ladbrokes and Coral, as well as in other countries where William Hill has properties.
However, such a large share of the market could cause Entain regulatory issues. Furthermore, the company recently took over the Swedish betting company Enlabs AB and it is considering acquiring assets from Australia’s Tabcorp Holdings (ASX: TAH) in a deal that could be worth as much as $2.7 billion.
There are also reports that Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) are interested in William Hill’s assets, and those close to the deal have said that it is the leading candidate. Apollo and Entain are currently locked in a bidding battle for Tabcorp, but there it is believed that Entain has the upper hand due to Apollo’s inexperience in racing.
Furthermore, Apollo and Entain may not be the only companies bidding for William Hill assets, as there have been rumors that Betfred is also interested. Betfred has a large retail presence in the UK, where it purchased a number of shops when Ladbrokes merged with Coral to avoid a monopolistic situation. Furthermore, Betfred founder, Fred Done, recently made a great deal of money by purchasing and selling shares in William Hill.