Caesars’ Clears Antitrust Period For William Hill Takeover

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Caesars Entertainment announced on Monday that it has cleared the federal anti-trust waiting period for its pending $3.7B purchase of U.K. based online bookmaker William Hill.

The waiting period is a period of time when mergers and acquisitions are examined for potential antitrust issues and conflicts. It is also a requirement under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. On Monday, the Las Vegas based gambling operator announced the early termination of that waiting period effective December 28, 2020. In a statement, Caesars also said:

“Caesars continues to progress through obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals required to close the transaction and is still aiming to complete the proposed combination in March 2021.”

Pending Approvals

Caesars Entertainment also revealed on Monday that both the Mississippi Gaming Commission and the West Virginia Lottery have signed off on the petition on November 19 and December 16, respectively.

However, approvals need to be obtained from the remaining gaming commissions of Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Similarly, the transaction also requires the approval of the English High Court as well as administrative and post-closing approvals from other U.S. agencies.

Shareholders Approval

Just over a month ago, William Hill shareholders voted to approve its takeover by Caesars Entertainment. 86%of the votes cast were in favor of the $3.7B merger. The shareholders of the British firm accepted the recommended 272p cash offer from Caesars by the requisite majorities, subject to the remaining outstanding regulatory conditions and final approval of the English Court.

William Hill US has more than 170 retail locations across 13 U.S. states and owns 29% of the market share in the United States sports betting industry. Analysts estimate that the merger could add some $2.5B in equity to Caesars which operates a total of 54 gaming properties across 16 states. It currently owns 20% of William Hill USA as a result of a previous deal.