Response to recent share price movement
NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF THAT JURISDICTION
This announcement is not an announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.7 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Code”) and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made.
Response to recent share price movement
William Hill plc ("William Hill") and GVC Holdings plc ("GVC") note the recent share price movement of Sportingbet plc ("Sportingbet") and confirm that they are in the preliminary stages of considering a possible joint offer for Sportingbet.
William Hill and GVC have committed to work exclusively with each other in this regard. It is currently envisaged that any possible offer would be structured such that when completed William Hill would acquire the Australian and certain other locally licensed businesses of Sportingbet (the "Regulated Businesses") and GVC would acquire the remaining parts of the Sportingbet business.
Any offer would be substantially in cash with an element of GVC paper. William Hill intends that the entity initially acquiring the Regulated Businesses would be a subsidiary of William Hill and not William Hill Online. GVC and William Hill reserve the right to amend the terms and structure of the possible offer in due course
The Boards of William Hill and GVC believe that by acting in combination they represent a highly credible possible offeror for the entire Sportingbet business, substantially in cash.
No formal approach has been made to the Board of Sportingbet and there can be no certainty that any offer will be forthcoming and nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.
In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, William Hill and GVC must, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 16 October 2012, either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Sportingbet in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline will only be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.
A further announcement will be made as appropriate.
William Hill plc Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8918 3614
Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR
Brunswick Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
(PR adviser to William Hill)
GVC plc Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7398 7729
Kenneth Alexander, Chief Executive Officer
Richard Cooper, Group Finance Director
Abchurch Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7398 7729
(PR adviser to GVC)
Rule 2.10 disclosure
In accordance with Rule 2.10 of the Code, William Hill confirms that it has 705,569,624 ordinary shares of 10p each in issue and admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange with the ISIN GB0031698896.
In accordance with Rule 2.10 of the Code, GVC confirms that it has 31,592,172 ordinary shares of €0.01 each in issue and admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange with the ISIN IM00B5VQMV65
Dealing Disclosure Requirements of the Takeover Code (the “Code”)
Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Code, any person who is interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any paper offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any paper offeror is first identified. An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person’s interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any paper offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the announcement in which any paper offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a paper offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.
Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any paper offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any paper offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person’s interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any paper offeror, save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the business day following the date of the relevant dealing.
If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a paper offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3. William Hill, GVC and the Panel have agreed that for the purposes of this offer period, both GVC and William Hill will be treated as paper offerors for the purposes of Rule 8.
Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4).
Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Takeover Panel’s website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. You should contact the Panel’s Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.