Rumors suggest European sportsbook operator Tipico can be added to the roster of companies bidding for William Hill’s non-US assets.
The German sports wagering company joins a crowded though still-fluid field of contenders vying for the venerable William Hill brand, the operator’s high street betting shops in the UK, and online gaming operations throughout Europe. Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) owns those assets by way of a $3.69 billion takeover of William Hill completed earlier this year.
The Las Vegas-based company made no secret about its desire to jettison the international businesses it acquired in the deal. Deutsche Bank is currently running an auction for Caesars, and the hope is to announce a buyer for the William Hill businesses before the end of 2021.
Tipico, which is majority-owned by CVC Capital Partners, is among a handful of bidders vying for the gambling giant’s high street shops and continental European assets,” reports Sky News.
The news agency reports that the suitor made a run at William Hill outright last year. But Caesars leveraged a US agreement with William Hill to prevent the British firm from accepting other offers.
Interesting William Hill History for CVC
CVC has a history with William Hill. The private equity company acquired the bookmaker for $1.15 billion in 1999 before floating it in London in 2022.
Should Tipico prove successful in acquiring William Hill’s non-US assets, the parent company would have to dole out far more this time than it did two decades ago. Caesars is rumored to be seeking in the area of $2 billion for the assets, which would help the casino significantly defray the $3.69 billion it spent to buy William Hill.
A move on William Hill makes sense for Tipico. The suitor is the largest operator of its kind in Germany, and the Malta-based company has operations in Austria, Colombia, Croatia, and the US, according to Sky News.
In the US, Tipico is operational in Colorado and New Jersey. Earlier this week, the company reached a $100 million deal with USA Today publisher Gannett to bolster its presence in the US.
CVC Faces Plenty of Competition
Amid news that Tipico is mulling a bid for William Hill, there’s also chatter that private equity firm Advent International is withdrawing from the auction process.
It’s also rumored the same is true of Entain Plc (OTC:GMVHY). However, talk around a possible Entain offer centered around a template exercise, with analysts speculating it was more of an effort to gauge the value of its Coral and Ladbrokes shops.
Still, CVC faces fierce competition for the William Hill international assets from fellow private equity giant Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) and 888 Holdings.
Additionally, talk remains persistent that Betfred is in the fray, and there’s also chatter multiple Swedish operators are considering making offers for William Hill’s European assets because of the company’s established footprint in that country.