Corporate By William Hill PLC

William Hill launches £300M Debut Corporate Bond

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION, DISTRIBUTION OR RELEASE, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR IN ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH OFFERS OR SALES WOULD BE PROHIBITED BY APPLICABLE LAW

William Hill PLC (William Hill or the Group) (LSE:WMH), a leading betting and gaming company, has today launched its debut corporate bond with institutional investors to raise approximately £300m from the issuance of guaranteed bonds (the Bonds).

The issue of the seven-year Bonds is part of the Group's previously stated strategy to diversify its debt facilities and maturities following the refinancing of its bank debt earlier in 2009. William Hill intends to use the net proceeds of the Bonds to pay down existing bank debt, further strengthening its sound balance sheet by diversifying its sources of debt funding. The Bonds will be issued with a coupon of 7.125% in an aggregate principal amount of £300m discounted to yield 7.25% to maturity. The Bonds are expected to be issued on or about 12 November 2009.

Following the issue of the Bonds, William Hill's revised debt profile would be as follows:

  Previous profile New profile
Bank facility maturing February 2011 £50m -
Bank facility maturing July 2011 £250m -
Bank facility maturing March 2012 £538.5m £538.5m
Bonds maturing November 2016 - £300m
Total facilities £838.5m £838.5m

 

As at 30 June 2009, William Hill's net debt for covenant purposes was £636.7m. On 27 October 2009, Moody's and Standard & Poor's issued corporate ratings on William Hill of Ba1 stable and BB+ stable, respectively.

William Hill's guidance for income statement average interest costs for 2009 and 2010 are unchanged as a result of the bond issue. Following the issue of the Bonds, a portion of the Group's legacy hedging arrangements will be ineffective. This is expected to lead to an exceptional charge to the income statement in 2009, currently estimated to be around £16-19m, as the ineffective portion of the hedging is de-designated.

Any investment decision made in connection with the Bond issue MUST be based solely on the information contained in the final Prospectus. The final Prospectus for the Bonds is expected to be approved by the UK Listing Authority on or around 10 November 2009 and will be available to view via the Group's corporate website at www.williamhillplc.co.uk, at the registered offices of William Hill PLC (Greenside House, 50 Station Road, London N22 7TP), via the FSA's website and via the Regulatory Information Service.

Please note that the information contained in the Prospectus for the Bonds may be addressed to and/or targeted at persons who are residents of particular countries only and is not intended for use and should not be relied upon by any person outside those countries and/or to whom the offer contained in the Prospectus is not addressed. Prior to relying on the information contained in the Prospectus you must ascertain from the Prospectus whether or not you are part of the intended addressees of the information contained therein.

THE SECURITIES REFERRED TO IN THIS DOCUMENT HAVE NOT BEEN, AND WILL NOT BE, REGISTERED UNDER THE US SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 (THE SECURITIES ACT) OR UNDER THE SECURITIES LEGISLATION OF ANY STATE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES OTHER THAN PURSUANT TO AN EXEMPTION FROM, OR IN A TRANSACTION NOT SUBJECT TO, THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE SECURITIES ACT. THE ISSUER OF THE BONDS DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE A PUBLIC OFFER OF SECURITIES IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO REGISTER ANY SECURITIES UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT.

Stabilisation in respect of the Bonds may be conducted in accordance with FSA and ICMA Rules all as more fully described in the Prospectus.

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Enquiries:

William Hill PLC
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive
Simon Lane, Group Finance Director
Lyndsay Wright, Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8918 3600

Brunswick Group
Simon Sporborg / Justine McIlroy / Tom Williams
Tel: 020 7404 5959

About William Hill PLC
William Hill is a leading betting and gaming company. It is one of the UK's largest bookmakers, with around 2,300 shops in the UK and Ireland that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, and offer gaming machines. William Hill Online provides internetbased sports betting, casino, poker and bingo, and is one of the leading European online betting and gaming businesses operated by a listed company.

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