888 Holdings Plc’s share value increased by 20% when it confirmed on Tuesday that it may be acquired by William Hill Plc.
According to a press release issued by the company in response to various media reports, 888 Holding’s board of directors noted that the media has been speculating about the possibility of the company’s acquisition by William Hill. The company confirmed that “it received an approach regarding a possible offer for the company.” 888 Holdings clarified that “there can be no certainty, however, that any firm offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be forthcoming.”
888 Holdings assured its shareholders that it will keep them informed of all the developments and make further announcements whenever appropriate, but “no later than 28 days from the date of this announcement.”
A report on the Financial Times says that reliable sources have revealed that William Hill has offered to purchase 888 Holdings for over £100 million.
The two companies combined would give rise to a formidable force in the online gambling world. While 888 Holdings operates excellent casino and poker businesses, William Hill is better known for its sportsbook products. A merger of the two companies would offer players the best sportsbooks, online poker rooms, and online casinos.
But the Financial Times says that the ownership of 888 Holdings could hinder the acquisition. Shaked and Ben-Yitzhak, the Israeli founder families of this company, own 60% of it. While the family of Ben-Yitzhak owns 10.5%, the Shaked family holds a 48.6% share. The deal will go through only if these two families give their consent.
888 Holdings operates the second biggest online poker room in the world, attracting an average of 2,700 players to its cash game tables every week. 888Poker has also grabbed the biggest share of the regulated market in the US. The company plans to launch a new online poker network, called the All American Poker Network (AAPN), in Nevada. WSOP.com, 888 Poker, and a Treasure Island poker room will be the skins on this network.
In addition, Delaware has three online poker rooms, which operate on the 888 online poker software platform. All three will be part of the AAPN once the network is launched as Delaware has already signed an interstate liquidity sharing deal with Nevada.
In New Jersey, 888 and WSOP.com recently merged player pools to become the biggest player there.