Merger Talks Between Amaya Gaming and William Hill

by Kyle Miller

Amaya GamingTop gaming operators William Hill and Amaya Gaming no longer considering a merger.

For a few days now, the hot subject of conversation in the gambling industry was the potential merger between William Hill and Amaya Gaming. Both companies were considering working together to create one major company that would essentially be the largest in the industry. A few days after the announcement was made, both companies had come to the conclusion that the merger would not work and apparently a deal is off the table.

No Deal

William Hill and Amaya Gaming have now announced they are no longer considering a £5 billion merger that would have created a powerhouse in the gaming industry. The omni-channel offering plus having a presence in several jurisdictions, both regulated and unregulated, would have created a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

Amaya Gaming works in the United States so William Hill would have been involved in online gaming options in the region, something that the company has yet to be able to do in a legal manner. The company does operate sportsbooks in the states including in Nevada. However, now the company will not be seeing such operations in the US due to the dissolving of any deals plans.

Why No Deal?

It seems several factors were at play that led to no deal being made between Amaya and William Hill. Not long after the announcement of a potential merger was made, the largest investor of William Hill came forward in disapproval. Parvus Asset Management Europe Ltd. was not in favor of any merger, stating that there was no strategic logic in place and shareholders of the company would have suffered due to the deal.

William Hill then later announced that they had talked with their investors and the Board of the company was able to conclude that the merger with Amaya was not something that would be in the best interest of the shareholders or the company.

Amaya was also of the same opinion after their Board announced that members concluded that the company should maintain its current status of an independent publicly-traded company which sets the company up for long-term growth, which will maximize value for shareholders.

Former Amaya CEO Still Interested in Company Acquisition

In the past, former CEO for Amaya Gaming, David Baazov, had expressed interest in acquiring the company and it seems his interest still remains. Back in February it was announced that Baazov notified the Board that he was going to make an offer to buy the company. However, nothing official has been done thus far.

Many big companies have been considering mergers as of late due to new changes in the United Kingdom. Regulations for gambling are stricter than ever and more taxes have left operators having trouble adapting. Online gambling is expanding and companies like William Hill who have retail outlets have had trouble adjusting to the new landscape. By merging with another company, the brand would have the opportunity to improve performance and gain new customers.

William Hill also announced they still plan on pursuing four areas of improvement for the company. Interim CEO Philip Bowcock put the four areas in place to improve the company including international business, online, efficiencies and technology. The company will also stay on alert for an opportunity to increase the value for shareholders. Sale options will still be considered if need-be but it seems that the board is not interested in becoming involved with Amaya Gaming.

William Hill was being pursued by 888 Holdings and The Rank Group but did not accept the deal presented by the rival gambling operators.