The two gaming groups have formed a consortium for a potential takeover of the bookies, but confirm that no formal approach has been made.
[dropcap]8[/dropcap]88 and Rank have confirmed that they have formed a consortium for a potential £3bn (E3.6bn) joint buyout of William Hill, after the departure of the firm’s CEO James Henderson last week, amid allegations he failed to capitalise on growth in the online betting market.
The possible bid marks a reversal for William Hill who made an unsuccessful £700m (E836m) bid for 888 just over a year ago, however the deal collapsed when a price could not be agreed on.
“The consortium sees significant industrial logic in the combination, through consolidation of their complementary online and land-based operations, delivery of substantial revenue and cost synergies and from the anticipated benefits of economies of scale, which will accrue to all shareholders,” said the joint statement issued by the consortium.
There is further speculation that Rank and 888 could merge before making an offer for William Hill; the statement went on to say: “In relation to the proposed transaction, no decision has yet been taken as to whether 888 would be an offeror or offeree company in respect of certain of the steps that may be taken in order to implement the proposed transaction.”
The statement also confirmed that no formal approach had been made, and the two firms will announce whether or not they intend to make an offer by 21 August 2016.