Future of Work

Bookmaker William Hill has rejected an improved takeover approach from 888 and Rank, saying it still “substantially” undervalues the company.

William Hill said the new proposal offered its shareholders the equivalent of about 352p a share, compared with a previous offer of 339p a share.

Rank and 888 have said their previous offer was “a compelling value creation opportunity for William Hill”.

But William Hill said the revised offer was “highly opportunistic”. “The board continues to see no merit in engaging with the consortium,” the company added.

The revised takeover proposal would see William Hill shareholders receive 199p in cash and 0.86 of shares in BidCo – the company being formed by 888 and Rank to buy William Hill – for each share they own.

William Hill shareholders would end up with 48.8% of the combined group.

Under the previous approach, William Hill shareholders were offered 199p in cash and 0.725 BidCo shares, leaving investors with 44.6% of the combined group.

“This revised proposal continues to substantially undervalue the company and the cash element of the proposal has not changed. Therefore, the board sees no merit in engaging,” said William Hill’s chairman, Gareth Davis.

“As we have said before, this is highly opportunistic and complex and does not enhance the strategic positioning of William Hill.

“The board continues to believe we have a strong team to deliver superior value to our shareholders and trading at the start of the second half gives us renewed confidence in our stand-alone strategy.”

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