William Hill’s largest shareholder has been trying to spark new merger and acquisition talks over the past several months, The Sunday Times reported. Privately owned hedge fund Parvus Asset Management owns a 14.3% share in one of UK’s largest gambling operators.
The UK Government is set to publish a triennial review of the country’s gambling industry with particular focus on the highly controversial fixed-odds betting terminals. It is believed that new measures on how the machines are to be regulated will be introduced and these will certainly come as a big blow to the operator’s profitability. This is why it is not a surprise that William Hill, whose UK retail business is greatly dependent on the FOBTs, as well as its investors are looking for ways to prepare the company for whatever the future may be holding.
The major bookmaker has not had its most shiny times over the past several years. Its underperforming online division and bettor-friendly results at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival dragged the company’s full-year profit lower than originally expected.
William Hill’s name was involved in two potential merger and acquisition deals last year. In mid-2016 the company was presented with two offers to be acquired by 888 Holdings and the Rank Group. The bookmaker rejected both bids as it was not particularly content with the price offered.
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