Sportingbet has agreed to the takeover terms of William Hill, after the UK gambling firm revised its offer to 61.1p a share, including a dividend of 1.1p a share, which takes the value of Sportingbet to £530 million.
The revised offer made to Sportingbet includes 48.9p in cash, the 1.1p cash dividend and 0.0475 new GVC Holdings shares for every Sportingbet share. The deal is open for a “mix and match” facility wherein Sportingbet shareholders can apply to receive proportionately more cash or more shares.
William Hill’s initial offer stood at 52.5p, which valued Sportingbet at £350.2 million. Sportingbet’s board which felt the old offer “significantly undervalued the business and its future prospects”, unanimously recommended the revised offer.
The deal would enable William Hill to take control of Sportingbet’s businesses in Australia and Spain, while the deal will see GVC take on Sportingbet’s operations in unregulated markets. By making a joint offer with GVC, William Hill hopes to avoid the regulatory problems that led Ladbrokes to abandon talks to buy Sportingbet last year.
The Takeover Panel has agreed for a deadline extension until November 13, for William Hill and GVC to make a firm bid. Sportingbet shares surged 4%, adding 2.2p to 55.2p in early trading this morning. Shares in Sportingbet were trading at 47p just before William Hill and GVC said last month that they were planning a joint bid.
While William Hill has 2,300 betting shops across the UK, Sportingbet, which owns Paradise Poker, offers sports betting and games across 26 countries and has more than 700,000 active customers.