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William Hill quick out of the traps as it confirms merger talks with Amaya

Monday, October 10, 2016 3:01
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Bookmaker William Hill PLC (LON:WMH) has confirmed it is cosying up to Canadian online gambling company Amaya Inc (TSE:AYA) to discuss a potential merger.

News agency Reuters broke the news on Friday that discussions about “a merger of equals” were taking places. Shares in Amaya shot up 9.1% on Friday to C$23.41 on the news, while in London on Monday morning William Hill shares rose 6% to 312.4p at the open.

“Over recent months, the board of William Hill has been evaluating options to accelerate William Hill’s strategy of increasing diversification by growing its digital and international businesses. Amaya has been undertaking a review of its strategic alternatives since February 2016,” a stock market statement from the British bookie released on Monday morning said.

While it has been evaluation its options to increase diversification the British company has also been fighting off the attentions of 888 Holdings Public Limited Company (LON:888) and The Rank Group PLC (LON:RNK), who wanted to form a three-headed gaming monster with William Hill.

The William Hill directors kicked that idea into touch but are evidently much keener on a hook-up with Amaya, saying a merger would be “consistent with the strategic objectives of both William Hill and Amaya and would create a clear international leader across online sports betting, poker and casino”.

The statement offered the usual caveat that there is no guarantee that agreement over a merger would be reached. 

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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