William Hill sold for £2.2 billion

Online gaming and betting operator 888 has agreed a £2.2 billion deal to buy William Hill's European operations.

The deal means US casino giant Caesars has recouped more than two-thirds of the £2.9bn it paid for William Hill in April, after which it put up the firm's non-US business, including more than 1,400 betting shops, for auction.

William Hill was founded in 1934 and posted a revenue of £1,157m – £803m online and £354m in retail – in a Covid-impacted 2020.

Lord Jon Mendelsohn, chair of 888, said: "This acquisition is an incredible opportunity to combine our world-class gaming brand with a unique and iconic sports betting brand to create a global leader in the online sports betting and gaming industry.

"We believe the acquisition will create significant value for shareholders, creating a combined business with leading technology, products and brands across sports betting, gaming and poker, supported by top quality management talent from both businesses."

The completion of the deal between 888 and William Hill is expected to take place during the first half of next year.

Ulrik Bengtsson, ceo of William Hill International, said: "The William Hill and 888 strategies are highly complementary with an absolute focus on the product and customer experience. Scale is increasingly important in our sector and the combination of the businesses will provide a powerful alignment of brands and technology.

"This transaction is a testament to the progress William Hill has made over the last two years, our unrelenting focus on customer, team and execution and, most importantly, the dedication and commitment of William Hill colleagues.

"I'm immensely proud of what we have achieved and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues who have made this possible. I look forward to working with 888 as we transition to the new ownership structure."

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