Caesars Entertainment completes William Hill non-US assets sale to 888

Caesars Entertainment Inc has completed the sale of the non-US assets of William Hill to 888 Holdings Plc.
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Caesars Entertainment Inc has completed the sale of the non-US assets of William Hill to 888 Holdings Plc.

A £2.2bn deal between the two parties was initially agreed upon in September of last year. 

However, due to macroeconomic changes and regulatory/compliance factors, this deal price was revised to an agreed valuation of between £1.95bn and £2.05bn ($2.55bn and $2.68bn) in April.

Following the repayment of debt and other working capital adjustments, Caesars received net proceeds of $730m, which the operator intends to use to reduce outstanding indebtedness.

The transaction’s completion brings an over eight-month-long M&A process to its conclusion, where 888 saw off competition from Apollo Global Management.

888 is looking to achieve anticipated pre-tax cost synergies of at least £100m ($121.5m) to be fully delivered by 2025.

“This combination brings together two high-quality businesses to create a powerful, global betting and gaming business,” noted Lord Mendelsohn, Chair of 888.

“We believe the acquisition will create significant value for shareholders, creating a combined business with leading technology, products, and brands across sports betting and gaming.

“With a top-quality management team formed from talent from across both businesses, I am confident about our future plans.”

Following the completion of the sale, several changes have been made to the 888 executive team, with the departures of Ulrik Bengtsson and Eric Hageman, former CEO and CFO respectively, also confirmed.

Itai Pazner, Yariv Dafna, and Vaughan Lewis will continue their roles of CEO, CFO, and CSO respectively, while interim COO Guy Cohen will now serve full-time in the position.

Harinder Gill, former Group Head of Regulatory Compliance at Revolut, will join as Chief Risk Officer from August 3, while William Hill’s Chief People Officer, Mark Skinner, will remain in that position.

Satty Bhens will continue as Chief Product and Technology Officer, former 888 COO Naama Kushnir will become Chief Transformation Officer, and Phil Walker will remain as William Hill’s UK Managing Director.

Pazner commented: “I am delighted to announce the completion of our transformational combination with William Hill.

“We have built an outstanding leadership team, combining strengths from across both businesses, and as I look at the future, the combination of our product and content leadership, powered by our proprietary technology and our world-class brands, gives us a powerful platform for growth.

“I’d like to thank Ulrik and Eric for the great job they have done at William Hill, and I wish them well for the future.”