Home Playtech in £700m bid for William Hill owner 888 Holdings

Playtech in £700m bid for William Hill owner 888 Holdings

William Hill owner, 888 Holdings, received a £700 million bid offer for the company from gambling software firm Playtech earlier this year.

The takeover bid was rebuffed – at the offer of 156p per share – as the valuation was thought to be too low, but as a result of this news, a report on Monday morning indicated that share prices had increased by 17.5%.

888 Holdings owns a significant portfolio of betting brands including its self-titled casino, poker, and sports brands as well as Mr Green and the long-established, William Hill which has had a presence in the UK since 1934.

The acquisition of William Hill cost 888 almost £2 billion last year but that landmark deal has not prevented an ongoing nose-dive in the Gibraltar-based company’s shares over the last couple of years.

888 Holdings strife sees company lose FTSE 250 listing

888 board chair, Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn has been under significant scrutiny as he was been unable to reverse the slide since he was appointed back in 2021.

The Labour Party’s former international trade spokesperson in the House of Lords has overseen a mammoth 80% fall in the company share price during his tenure, with a further fresh blow inflicted last week as it was kicked out of the FTSE 250 just last week.

That is in comparison to Playtech, who are currently listed on the same index and are thought to be keen on adding to their existing portfolio. Although the company mostly provides gambling software for others, it does own the Italian betting brand SNAI.

888 has reportedly been involved in boardroom talks with competitors such as US giant DraftKings as it seeks to navigate its way out of troubled waters.

Fresh industry regulations have hit hard in recent times with overall 888 revenue falling to £405m for the three months to the end of September from £449.4m for the equivalent period last year, whilst its UK and Ireland company returns also fell 10%, to £157.2m.

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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