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William Hill PLC (WMH)

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Monday 25 July, 2016

William Hill PLC

Statement re 888 Holdings and The Rank Group

RNS Number : 0636F
William Hill PLC
25 July 2016
 

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OF SUCH JURISDICTION.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF A FIRM INTENTION TO MAKE AN OFFER UNDER RULE 2.7 OF THE CITY CODE ON TAKEOVERS AND MERGERS (THE "CODE") AND THERE CAN BE NO CERTAINTY THAT AN OFFER WILL BE MADE, OR AS TO THE TERMS ON WHICH ANY OFFER WILL BE MADE.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

25 July 2016

Statement regarding 888 Holdings plc and The Rank Group plc

Further to the announcements by 888 Holdings plc ("888") and The Rank Group plc ("Rank") (together the "Consortium"), William Hill PLC ("William Hill" or the "Group") confirms that over the weekend it received a highly preliminary approach from 888 and Rank regarding a potential combination of the three companies. The Consortium did not put forward a proposal or set out a position on price, timing, terms, form of consideration or transaction structure.

The Board of William Hill would listen to and consider any proposal which might be forthcoming from the Consortium. However, it is not clear that a combination of William Hill with 888 and Rank will enhance William Hill's strategic positioning or deliver superior value to William Hill's strategy which is focused on increasing the Group's diversification by growing its digital and international businesses.

As announced on Thursday, the Group will publish its half-year results for the 26 weeks to 28 June 2016 on Friday, 5 August.

As a consequence of the announcement by the Consortium on 24 July 2016, William Hill is now considered to be in an "Offer Period" as defined by the Code. Accordingly, William Hill is required to suspend share buybacks.

In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, the Consortium is required, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 21 August 2016 to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for William Hill in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

This announcement is being made without the approval of the Consortium.

The person responsible for arranging for the release of this announcement on behalf of William Hill is Philip Bowcock.

 

Enquiries

William Hill

Philip Bowcock, Interim Chief Executive Officer
Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR
Ciaran O'Brien, Director of Communications

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8918 3609

Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Financial Adviser and Joint Corporate Broker)

Jan Skarbek
Andrew Seaton

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7986 4000

Barclays Bank PLC (Financial Adviser and Joint Corporate Broker)

Alisdair Gayne

Matthew Smith

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7623 2323

Brunswick

Andrew Porter

Oliver Hughes

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959




This announcement is not intended to, and does not, constitute or form part of any offer, invitation or the solicitation of an offer to purchase, otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of, any securities whether pursuant to this announcement or otherwise.  This is an announcement under Rule 2.4 of the Code and does not constitute an announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.7 of the Code.

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in jurisdictions outside the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore persons into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves about, and observe such restrictions.  Any failure to comply with such restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities law of any such jurisdiction.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority, is acting as financial adviser to William Hill and for no one else in connection with matters set out in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than William Hill for providing the protections afforded to its clients or for providing advice in relation to matters set out in this announcement.

Barclays Bank PLC, acting through its investment bank, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority, is acting as financial adviser to William Hill and for no one else in connection with matters set out in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than William Hill for providing the protections afforded to its clients or for providing advice in relation to matters set out in this announcement.

Disclosure requirements of the Code

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Code, any person who is interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any paper offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any paper offeror is first identified. An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any paper offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the announcement in which any paper offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a paper offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any paper offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any paper offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any paper offeror, save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the business day following the date of the relevant dealing.

If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a paper offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3.

Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4).

Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Takeover Panel's website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. You should contact the Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.

Publication on Website

In accordance with Rule 26.1 of the Code, a copy of this announcement will be published on the William Hill website (http://www.williamhillplc.com) by no later than 12 noon on 26 July 2016. The content of the website referred to in this announcement is not incorporated into and does not form part of this announcement.

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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