William Hill betting shop empire up for sale

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The Telegraph reports that a Wall Street buyout firm is preparing for battle with the Israeli gambling tycoons behind 888 Holdings as 1,400 William Hill betting shops go under the hammer.

Apollo Global Management will take on the Shaked family, 888 Holdings’ founding shareholders, as an auction for the bookmaker’s UK and European businesses gets under way.

Caesars Entertainment will kick off the sale of the bookmaker’s non-US assets in the coming weeks, The Telegraph has learnt. The Las Vegas casino giant completed a deal to buy one of the oldest names in British gambling outright for £2.9bn last month but has signalled it is only interested in retaining the fast-growing American business.

Deal insiders said that Apollo is in pole position to acquire the unwanted William Hill assets, which include its high street shops, as well as its UK and European online businesses. The auction could fetch up to £1.5bn, analysts say.

The buyout firm, which was pipped in an auction of the supermarket Asda last autumn, would be expected to combine William Hill with Gamenet, an Italian gambling operator it owns, and make cost cuts.

Read more via The Telegraph

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