(Reuters) – Casino operator Caesars CZR.O is in advanced talks with William Hill WMH.L on a takeover offer that values the British bookmaker at 2.9 billion pounds and would give it full control of their U.S. sports-betting and online gaming joint venture.
In a joint statement on Monday, the two companies said that Caesars was considering offering 272 pence per share for William Hill and that the board of the UK company was minded to recommend such an offer to shareholders.
However, the bid follows a surge in William Hill shares on Friday to more than 312 pence per share after the company said it had received offers from both Caesars and buyout group Apollo APO.N, suggesting that a bidding war was in the offing.
“The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the US is a truly exciting prospect,” Caesars Chief Executive Officer Tom Reeg said. “William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering.”
Caesars and William Hill also have an existing joint venture in the United States and Caesars said that it would be able to exercise its right to terminate the U.S. deal if Apollo bought out the British company.
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