William Hill has received all necessary competition approvals for its acquisition of online gaming group MRG for SEK 2.8bn(£242 million).
The deal will increase William Hill Group’s share of revenue and profits and reduce the company’s exposure to the UK market.
The offer to buy MRG through William Hill Holdings was made on 31 October and remains open until 17 January, after the acceptance period was extended. William Hill proposed the acquisition to fellow gambling operator MRG that is based in Malta but hails from Sweden, and has now received all the necessary approvals from competition authorities. MRG Board of Directors unanimously recommended that the company’s shareholders accept the offer. MRG is now to accept the recommended cash offer and the settlement is expected to begin on 25 January.
In a statement, the operator said it had “now been granted approvals from the competition authorities in all necessary jurisdictions. As a consequence, the offer is no longer conditional upon any approvals from authorities.”
It continued: “A duly filled in and signed acceptance form shall be submitted to Danske Bank… in sufficient time before the last day of the acceptance period so that it may be received, in original, by Danske Bank no later than 3pm (CET) on January 17.”
This move will extend William Hills’s online business and establish its presence in new markets since MRG online gaming brands Mr Green and Redbet currently operate in 13 markets including Italy, Denmark and the United Kingdom.
Strengthening online business, improving revenue mix and reducing exposure to UK gambling market that will undergo massive regulatory disturbances this year are only some of the benefits of this certain marriage. William Hill will endure a severe blow this spring since the UK government reduced the maximum stake on FOBT machines from £100 to just £2 and has introduced a 6% increase of the 15% remote gambling duty paid by locally licensed companies. The two companies therefore seem like perfect digital partners to increase its online operations.
William Hill will not only gain access to an international hub in Malta with market entry expertise and strong momentum in various European countries but also move from single brand to a suite of brands with this synergy that is expected to bring not less than £6 million per year.