Corporate By William Hill PLC

Proposed acquisition of sportingbet PLC's Australian and Spanish businesses

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For immediate release

20 December 2012

William Hill plc (“William Hill”)

Proposed acquisition of Sportingbet plc’s (“Sportingbet”) Australian and Spanish businesses

Key highlights

  • Proposed acquisition of Sportingbet’s Australian business and grant of call option over Sportingbet’s Spanish business for total cash consideration of £454 million
  • The proposed acquisition is being made as part of a recommended offer for Sportingbet by William Hill and GVC Holdings plc (“GVC”) (the “Offer”). A separate announcement which includes full details of the terms of the Offer has been released today
  • In line with William Hill’s strategy to develop the Group’s multi-channel operations, to increase its exposure to attractive regulated markets, and to achieve geographic diversification. On a pro forma basis over 40 per cent. of William Hill Group Operating Profit will be generated from online activities
  • The regulated Australian betting market is one of the largest in the world and has demonstrated high growth rates with an increasing proportion of online business
  • Sportingbet’s Australian business is a leading online corporate bookmaker in Australia, comprising two well-established local brands, Sportingbet and Centrebet
  • The proposed acquisition of the “miapuesta” brand will allow William Hill to achieve critical mass more quickly in the regulated Spanish market
  • The proposed acquisition is expected to be enhancing to underlying earnings* in the first full year. Post-tax return on invested capital is expected to meet prospective weighted average cost of capital in the third full year of ownership

Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, said:

“We are pleased to reach agreement with the Board of Sportingbet, who unanimously recommend our joint offer. This acquisition not only highlights William Hill’s commitment to grow further internationally into regulated, high growth markets such as Australia, but also supports our strategic aim to diversify revenue sources into new territories and through greater multi-channel usage.

Our unique combination with GVC provides a complete solution for Sportingbet and its shareholders and we look forward to working with the management and employees of Sportingbet in Australia and Spain to combine our joint experience and expertise to create additional value for our customers and shareholders."

* Underlying earnings stated before transaction and integration costs and the amortisation of intangible assets associated with the proposed acquisition. This is not intended to be a profit forecast or imply that future profits will necessarily be greater than historical profits.

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