WIlliam Hill Online Gambling Purchases Playtech Stake

Published Friday, March 01, 2013 - Online-Casinos.com

Those who watch the internet wagering world of business have speculated this action by the William Hill gambling interests for some time now and an announcement in the Times U.K. news source has confirmed the buyout of stake holder Playtech by the William Hill Online division.

The parent company has offered and agreed to purchase the 29 percent Playtech stake for an approximate sum of £425m. The joint venture with Playtech has not been a smooth one and the William Hill Online principals would have preferred to pay less to acquire the software developer. Moving on the contract to purchase now is considered a prudent idea as William Hill Online revenues have gone up by 27 percent in the last fiscal year. Playtech purchased the stake in William Hills Online division only four years ago for the minimal sum of £150m.

Playtech and William Hill Online did not get along from the start with Teddy Sagi, Playtech’s major shareholder presenting problems for William Hill. In 2011 trouble began when William Hill acquired a court injunction against Playtech when Playtech tried to sell its WHO holdings. Playtech retaliated by stopping the William Hill bid for the mobile specialists Probability. Mor Weizer Playtech’s Chief Executive Officer told Globes the Israeli media outlet that Playtech was “not disappointed by the pending sale … the time has come to split.” William Hill is now looking for cash to fund its recent purchase of Sportingbet and now the Playtech buyout.

The firm has committed to putting almost a billion pounds on the line to complete the transactions. That is 86 percent of £492.5m for the joint deal with GVC Holdings for Sportingbet and £425m for the Playtech stake. The Times reported that Hills will ask shareholders for permission to issue £380m in equity shares to pay the bill. William Hill will release its official full-year revenue figures March first.

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