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William Hill PLC (WMH)

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Tuesday 06 March, 2018

William Hill PLC

Disposal of William Hill Australia

RNS Number : 7969G
William Hill PLC
06 March 2018
 

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Disposal of William Hill Australia

 

William Hill PLC ("William Hill") today announces that it has signed a binding agreement to dispose of William Hill Australia (the "Business") to CrownBet Holdings Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CrownBet which is owned by The Stars Group Inc. and a group of shareholders associated with the founder and CEO of CrownBet, Matthew Tripp, for an enterprise value of A$300m, equivalent to an equity value of A$313.7m.

 

The Business operates licensed betting, over the telephone, internet and mobile phone platforms in Australia.

 

The disposal follows William Hill's announcement in its Trading Statement on 15 January 2018 that the Business was undergoing a strategic review as a result of the credit betting ban in Australia and the likely introduction of a Point of Consumption tax in a number of states applying increasing pressure on the profitability of the Business.

 

In the year ended 26 December 2017, which was not materially affected by the credit betting ban or the introduction of new taxes, William Hill Australia had revenues of A$201m and EBITDA of A$47m. The gross assets of William Hill Australia for the year ended 26 December 2017 was approximately £133m.

 

The disposal is expected to complete following regulatory approvals from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Northern Territory Racing Commission, which William Hill expect will be obtained in a timely manner. An announcement confirming completion will be issued in due course.

 

Disposal proceeds, net of costs, will be used initially to reduce Group indebtedness and invested to support further growth of William Hill.

 

Philip Bowcock, William Hill's Chief Executive Officer, commented:

 

"We are pleased to announce the sale of William Hill Australia to CrownBet. The disposal follows a strategic review of the Business, launched in January after its profitability came under increased pressure due to the recent credit betting ban and the likely introduction of a Point of Consumption tax. The disposal will allow William Hill to focus on continuing to grow our UK Online and US businesses, particularly as we prepare for the decision on the PASPA appeal due in 2018."

 

OAM: Disposal of subsidiary

William Hill LEI: 213800MDW41W5UZQIX82

 

For further information contact:

 

Media enquiries


Ciaran O'Brien, William Hill 

+44 (0) 7976 180173

Andrew Porter / Chris Buscombe, Brunswick

+44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Investor / analyst enquiries


Lyndsay Wright

+44 (0) 20 7612 3000

Tom Randell


 

Citigroup acted as financial advisor to William Hill in relation to the disposal.

 

The person responsible for releasing this announcement is Philip Bowcock.

About William Hill PLC

William Hill, The Home of Betting, is one of the world's leading betting and gaming companies, employing around 16,000 people. Founded in 1934, it is the one of the UK's largest bookmakers with around 2,340 licensed betting offices that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, and gaming on machines, providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill's products online, through their smartphone or tablet. William Hill US was established in June 2012 and provides land-based and mobile sports betting services in Nevada, and is the exclusive risk manager for the State of Delaware's sports lottery. William Hill Australia was established in 2013 when the Group acquired Sportingbet and tomwaterhouse.com. It offers sports betting products online, by telephone and via mobile devices. William Hill PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of both the FTSE 250 and FTSE4Good Indices.

Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements

These results include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "estimates", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "plans", "goal", "target", "aim", "may", "will", "would", "could" or "should" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout these results and the information incorporated by reference into these results and include statements regarding the intentions, beliefs or current expectations of the directors, William Hill or the Group concerning, amongst other things, the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and dividend policy of William Hill and the industry in which it operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future and may be beyond William Hill's ability to control or predict. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. The Group's actual results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, dividend policy and the development of the industry in which it operates may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results. In addition, even if the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and dividend policy of the Group and the development of the industry in which it operates, are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods. Other than in accordance with its legal or regulatory obligations (including under the Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014), the Listing Rules, the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and the Prospectus Rules), William Hill does not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. 

 


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