William Hill does a 180 on Scientific Games – NYX merger

News on 7 Dec 2017

It appears that negotiation has trumped expensive confrontation in the Scientific Games – NYX Gaming merger this week as news broke that following separate agreements with the two companies William Hill has abandoned attempts to control or scupper the Cdn$ 775 million deal.

Our readers will recall that a race developed as Scientific Games repeatedly upped its NYX shareholding to counter William Hill’s 32 percent stake, which it threatened to deploy if its commercial concerns were not addressed.

All three companies resorted to consulting lawyers and filing suits.

Thursday’s announcement that William Hill is now satisfied with arrangements indicates that a consensus has been achieved.

What is known is that Scientific Games has agreed to acquire William Hill’s ordinary shares and convertible preference shares in NYX, with William Hill receiving Cdn$ 2.40 per share for the 6.8 million ordinary shares it owns, and approximately GBP 87 million for its convertible preference shares.

William Hill’s CEO, Philip Bowcock, said in a stock exchange advisory Thursday:

“These agreements safeguard William Hill’s technology roadmap and relationship with NYX and end all legal action between the parties.

“Additionally we are pleased to expand our commercial relationship with Scientific Games in the US market which offers considerable potential should the US Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which is expected next year, provide states with the power to regulate sports betting.

“We will unconditionally support Scientific Games in their acquisition of NYX and we have no hesitation in recommending other shareholders to do the same.”

The shareholders meeting to approve the acquisition is scheduled for 20 December, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Scientific Games and NYX have encouraged all shareholders of NYX to cast their votes in favour of the acquisition.

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