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William Hill abandons short-lived merger talks with Amaya

Thu, Oct 20, 11:19am by Staff Writer

British bookmaker William Hill are struggling to find a partner in a fast consolidating industry after ceasing their short-lived merger talks with Canadian online gambling company, Amaya.

Amaya who operate the PokerStars website, and William Hill who are one of the best known British gambling brands, said earlier this month that they were in talks about a merger of equals. However, doubt was raised just a few days later a leading investor in William Hill said it would oppose the plan.

The Canadian company said it would remain an independent company to best deliver shareholder value while William Hill said it had decided to walk away with the interests of its biggest investors in mind.

Parvus Asset Management were the William Hill investor that was against the Amaya deal last week, welcomed the news.

“We’re pleased that the board has decided to cancel the talks with Amaya, and, from our perspective, we’re looking forward to working constructively with the board with regard to creating shareholder value for William Hill owners,” Parvus co-founder Mads Gensmann said.

Paddy Power and Betfair are two of William Hill’s biggest European rivals and they joined forces, while Ladbrokes agreed to unite with unlisted Gala Coral. This leaves William Hill looking increasingly secluded.

Tighter regulation and higher taxes in countries such as Britain means betting companies need to adapt to an environment in which younger and more tech-savvy gamblers are increasingly betting via smartphone or online.

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