888 set to complete takeover of William Hill’s European arm in early 2022

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Online betting firm 888 has said it expects to complete its £2.2 billion takeover of William Hill’s European business in the first quarter of 2022 after “strong progress”.

The two firms agreed the deal in September, which will return its 1,400 betting shops to British hands.

888 told shareholders that it has now received all mandatory antitrust and gaming regulatory clearances for the deal.

A shareholder vote on the acquisition is expected to take place next year.

The deal will see 888 take over William Hill’s international arm from Las Vegas casino operator Caesars Entertainment, which had acquired the gambling giant in April for £2.9 billion.

888 said the deal will create a combined group with more than 12,000 employees and annual revenues of 2.5 billion US dollars (£1.8 billion).

The online betting firm – which will make its first foray into physical betting shops through the deal – has said it also plans to raise around £500 million in equity before the acquisition is completed.

It added that integration planning is “progressing well”, with Guy Cohen, becoming senior vice president and director of integration, working alongside bosses at William Hill.

Itai Pazner, chief executive of 888, said: “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.

“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.”

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