888 the online only casino has acquired all of William Hills Non United States assets which could prompt a move into the retail world for the first time. It was revealed earlier this week that 888 were in advanced talks with gambling juggernaut Caesers to buy all of their assets in William Hill with this being fully confirmed today making them now one of the world biggest online betting and gambling businesses.
Itai Pazner 888 C.E.O said that no UK high street jobs would be placed at risk under the acquisition as he said the betting shop operation was "profitable" and that their plans are to "absolutely keep the shops". Could this mean a full rebranding for all William Hill betting shops to 888? Or will they continue to use this household brand name has yet to be decided by the company. William Hill stores were hugely impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic and without customers being able to use their stores, online betting saw a huge increase in customers which left the highstreets bookmakers with questions over its survival moving forward. Along with its over 12,000 employees futures.
William Hill Chief Executive Ulrik Bengtsson said “The William Hill and 888 strategies are highly complementary with an absolute focus on the product and customer experience”. However the takeover may not be as simple as it appears with this acquisition being classed as a reverse takeover it needs to approved by shareholders and founders prior to the deals completion, along with the UK Financial Conduct Authorities backing. The shares for William Hill immediately dipped by 2% upon the news breaking however it appears that 888 are in luck, with the largest shareholders Dalia Shaked Trust which currently own a 23% stake in the company giving the acquisition the greenlight. We will keep our eye on this developing story for you and provide any updates as they come in.