888/RANK CONSORTIUM SET OUT ACQUISITION RATIONALE (Update)
“Compelling value creation opportunity for William Hill and its shareholders”.
888 Holdings and The Rank Group (888Rank) consortium have published their rationale on the benefits a combined business will bring following William Hill’s outright rejection of its bid and further non-engagement with the consortium.
888Rank says it believes the Proposal represents a compelling value creation opportunity for William Hill and its shareholders and welcomes the opportunity to engage with the board of William Hill on a constructive basis with the goal of consummating a recommended transaction.
The consortium has gone so far as to propose the appointment of Henry Birch, current Rank chief executive officer, as chief executive officer of the “enlarged group” and Itai Frieberger, current chief executive officer of 888, as chief executive officer Digital.
Some of the key points from the Rationale include:
The Enlarged Group would:
Combine complementary strengths in different markets to be the UKs largest multi-channel gambling operator by revenue and profit (with aggregate pro forma calendar 2015 revenue and EBITDA of GBP 2.7 billion and GBP 500 million respectively);
Bring together a complementary and attractive combination of retail and digital brands and proprietary technology, content and products across sports betting, casino, poker and bingo;
Leverage its breadth and depth of products, technologies, cross-channel dimensions and significantly enhanced scale to grow beyond its current markets into new markets and regions, unlocking cost savings and efficiencies across online and land based platforms, and mitigating against any adverse regulatory change. The Enlarged Group would have combined marketing spend of in excess of GBP 300 million;
Hold leading positions in the UK across: retail sports betting, digital sports betting, retail casino, digital casino, retail bingo, digital bingo, retail poker, digital poker and across multiple product categories in other geographies;
Create a B2C business with a loyal, growing and active customer base of millions of customers as well as a strategic B2B business with enhanced potential;
Unlock substantial cost and revenue synergies yielding higher margins and increased profitability; and
Benefit from the re-rating of its shares, with the Enlarged Group expected to be a constituent of the FTSE100.
The full rationale can be accessed here: http://otp.investis.com/clients/uk/888holdings/rns/regulatory-story.aspx?cid=1095&newsid=772595
In accordance with the Takeover and Mergers Code, 888Rank are required to announce a firm intention on whether they will make an offer or walk away by 17h00 on 21 August 2016.