HBK Investments to contest Caesars’ acquisition of William Hill

The investment management fund HBK Investments (HBK) is set to challenge the proposed merger between the US casino giant Caesars and the UK sportsbook firm William Hill.

As a result of this, the Scheme Court Hearing date that was previously set to finalise the deal has been pushed back by one day to 31 March.

Earlier this month, Caesars revealed that it expected to receive the remaining approval from the relevant US gambling authorities and other regulatory bodies on or around 23 March. 

During this announcement it was revealed that Caesars hoped to complete its acquisition of the sportsbook firm by 1 April.

HBK to contest the merger

HBK argues that the details within the scheme document, which outlines details of the deal as well as who Caesars can add as “restricted acquirers of William Hill”, should have been described clearer.

William Hill’s board has refuted HBK’s argument and is confident that the deal should be allowed to proceed as scheduled.

The UK bookmaker also noted that 86.64% of its shareholders voted in favour after the deal following several rounds of negotiation.

Caesars’ bid to acquire William Hill

Caesars made a £2.9bn bid to acquire the UK-based gambling giant in September 2020.

William Hill also received an offer from Apollo Global but the William Hill board unanimously agreed to approve the Caesars deal.

The bid to acquire William Hill would see Caesars acquire the bookmaker’s entire issued and to-be issued share capital that it does not already own. William Hill shareholders approved the deal in November and will see Caesars purchase William Hill’s 1.08bn shares at a price of £2.72 per share. 

Caesars intends to hold onto William Hill’s US sports betting arm and sell off the remaining parts of the business.

The US casino operator said that the enlarged operation could generate up to $700m in net revenue during the 2021 financial year.

Caesars made the offer after Eldorado Resorts completed its $17.3bn reverse-merger deal of the US company in July 2020. This deal put 55 casinos under Eldorado’s control.