888 closes William Hill International acquisition

William Hill

William Hill

888 has reaffirmed strong confidence in its operations moving forward after the gambling group closed the purchase of William Hill International that was first detailed in September 2021.

The firm initially entered into a £2.2bn deal with Caesars to buy the non-US business of William Hill, however, a revised value of between £1.95bn and £2.05bn, a potential £250m drop, was agreed with economic and regulatory factors cited.

Completion of the transaction, which includes Mr Green, marks the end of an over eight month long M&A process after 888’s bid saw off competition from Apollo Global Management.

The group is looking to achieve anticipated pre-tax cost synergies of at least £100m to be fully delivered by 2025.

Lord Mendelsohn, Chair of 888, noted: “This combination brings together two high quality businesses to create a powerful, global betting and gaming business. 

“We believe the acquisition will create significant value for shareholders, creating a combined business with leading technology, products and brands across sports betting and gaming. With a top quality management team, formed from talent from across both businesses, I am confident about our future plans.”

Furthermore, 888 has also moved to detail its fresh executive team following the completion, with the departures of Ulrik Bengtsson and Eric Hageman, former CEO and CFO respectively, also confirmed.

Itai Pazner, Yariv Dafna and Vaughan Lewis will continue to occupy the roles of CEO, CFO, and CSO, with Guy Cohen, who has been interim COO, taking on the position on a full-time basis.

Harinder Gill, former Group Head of Regulatory Compliance at Revolut, will join as Chief Risk Officer from August 3, with Mark Skinner, who was appointed Chief People Officer of William Hill in 2021, to occupy the same role in the enlarged group.

Satty Bhens will continue as Chief Product and Technology Officer, a role occupied at William Hill since 2019, with former 888 COO Naama Kushnir to become Chief Transformation Officer.

Furthermore, Phil Walker, who was appointed as UK Managing Director at William Hill in 2020, is to maintain that position.

“I am delighted to announce the completion of our transformational combination with William Hill,” Pazner commented.

“We have built an outstanding leadership team, combining strengths from across both businesses, and as I look at the future, the combination of our product and content leadership, powered by our proprietary technology, and our world class brands, gives us a powerful platform for growth.

“I’d like to thank Ulrik and Eric for the great job they have done at William Hill and I wish them well for the future.”

Author: Ava Harvey