888Holdings William Hill Takeover Has Q2 2022 Date

888Holdings plans to complete its acquisition of William Hill in Q2 2022. The gambling giant is also selling off its bingo business.

The William Hill and William Hill International takeover by 888Holdings takes place in Q2 2022. 888Holdings agreed to the £2.2 billion ($4.09 billion) acquisition of William Hill’s non-US operations in September 2021. A date of Q1 2022 was initially touted for completion, but this has gone back to Q2 2022.

888Holdings CEO, Itai Pazner, last month updated shareholders

“This transaction will create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, leading technology, increased diversification, and a platform for strong growth, supported by a portfolio of iconic brands. The appointment of Guy Cohen to the critical role of SVP, Director of Integration also strengthens our leadership and commitment to this important process, as we look to leverage the significant expertise and talent from both businesses to benefit the combined group.

“I’m delighted that we have now checked off a number of important milestones towards completion of the Acquisition. Given the strong progress we have made, we now expect the transaction to complete in the first quarter of 2022 and are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we combine two powerful and complementary businesses.”

New 888Holdings Capital Raise

£2.2 billion ($4.09 billion) is a lot of money for any company to fork out in one fell swoop. This is why 888Holdings is issuing new equity via a capital raise, essentially issuing new shares. 888Holdings expects a £500 million ($930.38 million) injection to its coffers resulting from the capital raise. Such a capital raise requires shareholder approval.

Shareholders not approving the capital raise is unlikely because the acquisition comes with £100 million ($186.07 million) in cost-saving synergies annually.

Why Is 888 Keen on William Hill Assets?

Caesars Entertainment purchased British gambling giant William Hill for £2.9 billion ($5.42 billion) in April 2021. However, the American firm had no interest in William Hill’s non-US assets. Caesars put them up for sale immediately.

William Hill has a massive footprint regarding high street betting shops. However, its online presence is nowhere near that of rivals bet365 or Ladbrokes.

888Holdings has a huge online casino presence in addition to online poker. It has a sports betting operation, too, but is not known for this. Getting hold of William Hill gives 888Holdings a vast database of sports betting customers.

Experts predict the sale of William Hill’s 1,400 betting shops, which raises a lot of money. Online entities rarely fancy venturing into the physical world. William Hill rival, Betfred, is keen on adding to its betting shop estate and is a potential suitor.

Strategic Sale of Bingo Business

888Holdings is also known for its various bingo products, a popular pastime in the United Kingdom. A change of strategy saw the company sell its bingo business to Saphalata Holdings Ltd. The new owners paid $50 million ($68.78) cash, with a possible $4 million ($5.50 million) more on the horizon.

888Bingo generated US$65 million ($89.42 million) in revenue in 2020, in addition to an EBITDA of US$7.4 million ($10.18 million). However, it lost a massive US$76.4 million ($105.10 million), including a goodwill impairment of US$79.5 million ($109.36 million).

888’s CEO, Patzer, explained the bingo sale.

“Following a strategic review, we have taken the decision to sell the bingo business. This strategic Transaction will enable 888 to further increase its focus on its core platform and unified, scalable and proprietary technology, and grow our key product verticals of casino, sport and poker, as we continue in our mission to be one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses.

The high-quality bingo business has been an important part of 888’s history, and over many years we have developed an advanced B2B offering alongside a suite of popular consumer-facing brands. As part of an enlarged business, I am very confident that the future for the bingo business is bright. I would like to express my immense gratitude for all of the hard work of the team over the years.”