Playtech‘s claim that William Hill’s acquisition of Sportingbet should benefit the two companies’ joint interest in William Hill Online has been quickly rejected by a Will Hill spokesman.
On Thursday Playtech’s CEO Mor Weizer claimed in a company statement that in terms of the WHO joint venture agreement William Hill would be “…bound to conduct its remote gambling business through the William Hill Online business, in which Playtech is a 29 percent shareholder.”
He said that if the WH/GVC Offer is completed, William Hill will be obliged to offer to sell the remote gambling activities of Sportingbet to William Hill Online within six months of completion of the acquisition…and Playtech has the right, in its absolute discretion, to determine whether William Hill Online accepts such an acquisition.
“Playtech believes that it is likely that the acquisition of the Sportingbet activities would add considerable value to William Hill Online,” the statement continued, in what has been interpreted as an attempt to push up the purchase price of Playtech’s 29 percent interest in WHO, an initiative that William Hill is currently pursuing with an evaluation exercise .
William Hill’s outlay in acquiring Sportingbet is some GBP 454 million, and the company is less than enthusiastic about Weizer’s claim to some of the action. On Friday a William Hill spokesman said bluntly:
“Playtech have no rights to a business that is not part of William Hill Online and therefore this has absolutely no effect on any valuation”.
The signs all point to some interesting exchanges ahead between Playtech and William Hill on the participation and future ownership of WHO.