William Hill and Amaya Abandon Merger Talks
William Hill and the Canadian company Amaya Inc. have abandoned their merger talks after just a few weeks.
Earlier in the month the two companies said that they were in talk about a merger of equals but the deal was thrown into doubt a few days later when one of William Hill’s leading investors said that they would oppose the plan.
Amaya has said that it decided it would deliver the best value to shareholders by remaining an independent company and William Hill has said that it abandoned the plan after talking to its biggest investors.
Parvus Asset Management, one of the biggest investors in William Hill, has welcomed the news. Mads Gensmann, a Parvus co-founder, said that they are now looking forward to working with the William Hill board to create shareholder value.
It is thought that William Hill was eager to merge after its rivals Paddy Power and Betfair joined forces and Ladbrokes agreed to merge with Gala Coral.
Gambling companies are facing tighter regulations and high taxes in many countries and the need to adapt to an environment in which the younger gamblers are increasingly gambling online, via computers and smartphones.
William Hill’s Chief Executive James Henderson left the company in July when the board said that he was failing to deliver enough growth in online and international gambling. The company then rejected a takeover bid from rival 888 and the Rank Group.
William Hill has said that it is now focusing on the priorities set out by interim CEO Philip Bowcock, online, technology, efficiencies and international.