Sportingbet has turned down William Hill‘s proposed GBP 350 million takeover bid. The leading online sportsbooks in UK will not be able to take over Sportingbet’s Australian operations, yet.
There are only a few details available about the offer and its rejection. The gambling community expects a statement from William Hill later this week when the firm is posting it reports for the full fiscal year.
Australia accounts for 90% of Sportingbet’s revenues. The deal would have let William Hill control Sportingbet’s Australian operations plus its online activities in some minor countries of interest. GVC Holdings would have taken control of Sportingbet operations in unlicensed territories.
Sportingbet has over 2.5 million registered customers from 200 different countries. The company processes over one million bets every day.
William Hill, together with its bid partner GVC Holdings, proposed to acquire Sportingbet shares 52.5 pence per piece. Sportingbet share rose 16% after rumors of the deal hit the British gambling news.
It is of course possible that the deal will be closed before the October 16 deadline. By that date, the two buying companies are required by the British gambling laws and stock market regulations to declare a firm intention to make an offer. There are several rumors that Sportingbet is waiting for a new, increased offer from William Hill and GVC Holdings after its share price went up.
This was not the first offer Sportingbet rejected. Last year, the firm and Ladbrokes were in talks about a possible buy-up. Ladbrokes decided to drop its plans after hearing about the concern affecting some markets Sportingbet was focusing on.
Edison Research estimated Sportingbet profits to be worth GBP 34.5 million this year. This is a roughly 10 per cent decrease of GBP 3 million year-on-year. However, there are speculations that the firm’s results will improve at the end of the year because of its strong expected performance in Australia.