Betfred founder Fred Done reportedly considering competing bid for William Hill

Betfred founder Fred Done reportedly considering competing bid for William Hill

American casino operator Caesars Entertainment last week officially announced its plans to acquire William Hill for $3.69 billion in cash, but the offer could be thwarted by the British bookmaker’s second-largest shareholder Fred Done, who is reportedly considering a rival bid.

Mr. Done, the founder of UK-based another sports book operator Betfred, is reportedly interested in acquiring William Hill by placing a bigger bid than proposed by Caesars Entertainment. He reportedly has already held informal talks over a potential bid for William Hill.

Reporting a potential bid from Mr. Done, The Telegraph stated, “He began stakebuilding in William Hill two years ago, and is understood to have held informal talks over a potential bid for the shops at the end of last year.”

A number of gaming companies are reportedly interested in acquiring William Hill’s European business. Apart from Mr. Done, 888 Holdings is said to be interested in acquiring the European operations of William Hill. But 77-year-old Mr. Done seems to be leading the race as he is mulling making a run at the whole of the popular British sports book operator.

Exactly how much Mr. Done is considering offering for acquiring William Hill is still unclear, but there is room for the Betfred founder to induce the British sportsbook operator to at least think about his bid.

Caesars Entertainment wants to acquire William Hill’s operations as it believes that the potential acquisition of the British sports betting company would help it gain a much bigger share in the United States’ fast expanding market. As per some recent estimates, the US sports betting market could be worth up to $35 billion in the next few years. The casino giant believes that the acquisition of William Hill could help it generate up to $700 million in additional revenues through online and sports betting services by the end of 2021.

Some sports betting industry analysts as well as investors expressed their disappointment over William Hill Board of Directors’ decision to accept Caesars Entertainment’s $3.69 billion offer.

They argued that the offer price undervalues William Hill. Some also pointed to the unconfirmed reports suggesting that the Harrah’s operator had offered $3.80 billion for the sports book operator last year.

Caesars Entertainment has leverage over William Hill as the casino operator already owns 20 per cent of the sports book operator’s US business. The casino giant reportedly cautioned the sports book operator that its US relationship with Caesars will be terminated if it accepts an offer from a rival company.