The Boston-based private equity fund Advent International has been cited as the newest organisation hoping to purchase William Hill’s UK and European assets.
Earlier this year, Caesars completed its acquisition of William Hill and begun the process of selling off unwanted assets.
Advent enters the auction
As reported by the Times today, Advent International, a private equity fund based in Boston, is the latest company to have stated they have an interest in acquiring William Hill’s UK and European assets.
Very few details were revealed about Advent’s interest in the William Hill leftovers as the fund has no previous record of investing in the gambling sector.
Nevertheless, Advent has signalled it will compete against the other potential bidders.
In May, Caesars Entertainment announced it would begin the bidding process for the UK and European assets of the UK-based bookmaker. This came after Caesars completed its acquisition of William Hill in April.
When the £2.9bn deal was announced in September last year, Caesars stated that its main target of the transaction was William Hill’s US sports betting business and technology. Caesars hopes that the bookmaker’s operation will help it become a market leader in the US gambling market.
From the very beginning of negotiations, Caesars stated it planned to sell off the rest of William Hill’s assets once the deal was completed.
However, Caesars has yet to reveal how it plans to divest the bookmaker’s 1,400 betting shops across the UK, its William Hill online operation, and its European subsidiary Mr Green.
Who else is bidding for the assets?
Since Caesars announced the start of the bidding process in May several organisations both in and outside of the gambling sector have signalled interest in the brand’s assets.
Apollo Global Management, which previously competed against Caesars to acquire William Hill, was touted as one of the first potential bidders for European and UK assets.
It was also reported that the Israeli Shaked business family, which were founding shareholders in 888 Holdings, are interested in the bookmaker’s assets.
Other potential bidders include the owner of Betfred, Fred Done, and the Swedish operator Kindred Group.
Last month, the Irish operator BoyleSports confirmed its intention to bid for some or all of the assets. In a statement, the Irish operator said that Caesars’ plans to sell William Hill’s non-US assets has created a “rare opportunity” to extend its footprint in the UK betting space.
BoyleSports currently operates 21 shops across Great Britain along with 45 in Northern Ireland, while William Hill is the country’s largest retail sportsbook operator.
According to the report from The Times, City sources predict Apollo could win the bid, citing the fund’s expansion into gambling markets. Recently, Apollo has taken over ownership of Gamenet Italia and Las Vegas’ Venetian Resorts.
However, there is no certainty Apollo will win the bid as the Private equity fund would have to persuade William Hill’s executive team led by Ulrik Bengtsson to remain with the business, once Caesars has offloaded the assets.