Tipico Enters the £1.5bn Bidding War for William Hill’s Non-US Assets

  • Tipico is the latest of many parties showing interest in William Hill’s non-US assets
  • Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill in April in a deal worth £2.9bn
  • Other interested parties include Apollo Global Management, Betfred, and 888 Holdings
  • William Hill has online operations across Europe and has over 1,400 betting stores in the UK
William Hill betting shop
German gambling group Tipico is reportedly entering the race to acquire the non-US assets of William Hill. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Latest potential buyer

Tipico Group is now vying for William Hill’s UK betting stores and European online operations. Sky News reports that the German sports betting group, majority-owned by private equity giant CVC Capital Partners, has entered the £1.5bn ($2.09bn) bidding war.

Tipico is the biggest sports betting group in Germany. It also has a presence in countries such as the United States, Croatia, Colombia, and Austria.

Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill in April in a deal worth £2.9bn ($4.05bn). The US casino company, however, has been looking to sell the non-US assets of William Hill, with Deutsche Bank advisers helping with the sale. CVC did not provide a comment on Thursday regarding the reports of its interest.

Other William Hill suitors

Some of the other parties that are in the race for these assets include Betfred, 888 Holdings, and Apollo Global Management. The private equity firm Advent International is reportedly no longer in the mix, while Ladbrokes owner Entain Plc is not planning to submit a formal offer. Because of the competition, the final price for the business could surpass the £1.5bn mark.

Caesars is said to want to sell off the entire non-US business in one go

Betfred reportedly was only interested in buying some of William Hill’s betting stores, but Caesars is said to want to sell off the entire non-US business in one go. Ireland-based BoyleSports was another party to have shown interest in the retail assets of the British gambling company.

A storied history

If the Tipico bid is successful, it would see William Hill and CVC reunited after almost two decades. The London-based private equity firm purchased William Hill alongside Cinven for £825m ($1.15bn) in 1999. Three years later, the owners floated William Hill on the London Stock Exchange.

In recent years, William Hill has developed a continental European presence, accumulating a significant market share in Spain and Italy. It also has over 1,400 betting stores in the UK. These outlets have been dealing with increasing scrutiny from the UK authorities, such as the curtailment of their lucrative fixed-odds betting terminals. William Hill has been in business for almost a century and its first betting stores opened in 1966.

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