888 Holdings has won the auction for William Hill’s European operations by outgunning private equity rivals with a bid estimated at more than £2bn, according to a report.
The bidding was down to a three-horse race between 888, Apollo Global Management and CVC Capital Partners. CVC was knocked out at the weekend and 888 has won out against Apollo, The Times reported.
Final bids were pitched at more than £1.7bn, outstripping peak expectations of a £1.5bn sale at the start of the process, The Times said.
After the report was published on Tuesday, 888 published a statement to say it was in advanced talks with Caesars to buy William Hill’s non-US business.
“There can be no certainty that these advanced discussions will result in a transaction. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate,” 888 said.
Caesars Entertainment bought William Hill for £2.8bn but the US group only wanted the company’s US operations. The assets up for sale were William Hill’s 1400 betting shops and its UK and European online operations.
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