William Hill Calls 888/Rank Bid "Highly Opportunistic"Published on August 11th, 2016 5:28 pm EST
A combination of William Hill and 888 Holdings Plc, two of the world's largest online gaming firms, is seemingly never going to happen following William Hill's rejection of a joint offer from 888/Rank earlier in the week.
William Hill, which is currently without a CEO, rejected the 364p/share offer from 888/Rank earlier this week, stating that the deal was "highly opportunistic" and significantly undervalued their company. William Hill also publicly worried about the debt load that a William Hill/888/Rank combination would have been saddled with.
Analysts have said that 888/Rank will likely have to bid over 400p/share and significantly increase the cash component of their offer in order to have a chance of closing the deal.
William Hill and 888 have been dancing together for a while now, as William Hill unsuccessfully tried to purchase 888 Holdings last year. The deal was eventually scuttled.
Tempers seem to be flaring on the 888 Holdings plc side, as Eyal Shaked took to his Twitter account to blast William Hill for turning down their deal:
"Pure ego made #WilliamHill reject #Rank and #888 £3.16bn bid and that will be their downfall."
"#WilliamHill Rejects #888 offer. That's the last I want to hear about #888 shareholders not willing to go big"
"Last year it was "key shareholder opting for higher returns", now its an opportunistic offer. See you next year... "
With the war of words flaring up between the two sides, it seems hard to imagine that they will eventually to come to terms on a deal, though stranger things have happened.
Shares of William Hill are currently trading for 328.90p on the LSE, which means that investors have significant doubts that 888 Holdings/Rank is going to come back with a significantly higher bid.
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