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William Hill faces possible takeover bid from Rank/888

Troubled bookmaker may get offer from Rank Group and 888 Holdings

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A takeover of William Hill by Rank Group and 888 would be the latest consolidation move in gaming

Troubled bookmaker William Hill plc (LON:WMH) is facing a potential takeover bid in the latest consolidation move to hit the industry.

Rank Group PLC (LON:RNK) and 888 Holdings PLC (LON:888) said they were considering a possible offer for William Hill, which last week said its chief executive was quitting.

The pair said they saw "significant industrial logic" in the combination by merging their complementary online and land-based operations and making substantial revenue and cost savings and economies of scale.

They added: "No formal approach has yet been made to the board of William Hill and there can be no certainty that any such approach will be made."

If it happens, the tie-up would be the latest in a string of such moves in the industry. 

Paddy Power has joined forces with Betfair to form Paddy Power Betfair (LON:PPB), Ladbrokes PLC (LON:LAD) is teaming up with Gala Coral and GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC) bought Bwin.Party in February.

William said in a separate statement that it received a "highly preliminary" approach from 888 and Rank regarding a potential combination of the three companies.

It said the consortium did not put forward a proposal or set out a position on price, timing, terms, form of consideration or transaction structure.

William Hill said in a statement: "The board of William Hill would listen to and consider any proposal which might be forthcoming from the consortium.

"However, it is not clear that a combination of William Hill with 888 and Rank will enhance William Hill's strategic positioning or add superior value to William Hill's strategy, which is focused on increasing the group's diversification by growing its digital and international businesses."

Quick facts: William Hill PLC

Price: 90 GBX

LSE:WMH
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £786.84 m
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