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First we heard it through the grapevine, later it was confirmed, and now it has been finalised – William Hill has definitely finished its business on the Australian market.
In January, a William Hill representative declared that the company was considering withdrawing from the Australian market, especially due to fears of a gambling breakdown in the country hitting profit. Namely, two of the possible buyers interested in a deal were Bet365 and Paddy Power Betfair.
After securing regulatory approvals from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Northern Territory Racing Commission, William Hill completed sale of Australian business by selling its Australian division to CrownBet Holdings. Stars Group upped its stake in CrownBet to 80% in March, and the company signed a deal to acquire William Hill Australia. The (approximate) cumulative purchase sum for both transactions totals $315 million (€ 257.8 million).
Out of this sum, $234 million was payable in cash for William Hill and the rest payable in about 3.1 million newly-issued common shares owned by the Stars Group for the elevated and growing interest of CrownBet. One week before the official announcement, Stars Group also acquired 62% of CrownBet for a fee of about $117.7m (a bit under € 96 million).
On a side note, William Hill keeps updated and operates licensed betting over the phone, online, and even via mobile phone platforms.
In a statement published on Monday, a William Hill spokesperson announced that the company officially confirmed having sealed the deal with its Australian settlement, which logically followed the report made public on 6 March 2018.
They also added, “A binding agreement had been reached with CrownBet Holdings Pty Limited for the sale of William Hill Australia, that the disposal formally completed today following receipt of regulatory approvals from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Northern Territory Racing Commission.”