Two London Stock Exchange listed gambling companies, William Hill and 888, have been in the news over the past couple of days thanks to takeover talk and increased revenues.
William Hill is the United Kingdom’s largest bookmaker, with 2,300 betting shops and a multi-million pound online business portfolio that includes casino and poker products. Now it appears they are going to grow even larger after offering £530m to takeover Sportingbet.
Sportingbet has more than 700,000 active customers from 26 countries but most poker playing people remember them for being the owners of the once great Paradise Poker. William Hill had offered 52.2p a share but have now increased their offer to 61.1p a share, a proposal that Sportingbet executives and urged shareholders to agree to.
William Hill is also thought to be preparing to buyout Playtech’s stake in its online business. Playtech, owners of the iPoker network, owns 29% of William Hill Online and have had a fractious relationship over the years. William Hill have until November to exercise an option to buy back Playtech’s share, whilst Playtech is rumoured to be interested in buying 888.
888 Holdings has recorded its eighth successive quarter of growth and really seems to be going from strength to strength. Despite online poker traffic decreasing by around 8% over the last 12 months, 888 Poker has continued to grow and showed an increase in revenue of 21% over the comparable quarter last year, whilst the number of active players rose by 14% to 349,000.
Those figures could increase yet again thanks to the popularity of the recent promotion put in place to celebrate 888 Poker having dealt its 40 millionth tournament.
It is always good to see British companies doing well, especially British companies that are very close to our hearts and in our field of interest. For those of you who like to dabble in the stock market, William Hill shares can currently be bought at 343.50 whilst 888 Holdings shares can be yours for 106.00 each.