William Hill turns down offer from Rank and 888

William Hill said the approach 'substantially' undervalued its business. Picture: Johnny Green/PA Wire
William Hill said the approach 'substantially' undervalued its business. Picture: Johnny Green/PA Wire
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William Hill has rejected a formal takeover approach from Rank Group and 888, saying that the proposal for a £3.6 billion three-way merger “substantially undervalues” the bookmaker.

The group said that it had received an “unsolicited non-binding highly conditional proposal” from the casino giant and online operator that it “does not believe” would deliver superior value for shareholders.

The offer is 199p in cash and 0.725 shares in a bid company set up by Rank and 888, giving a total estimated value of 364p per share.

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William Hill said that having reviewed the proposal its board “has unanimously rejected the proposal as it substantially undervalues” the company. The offer also involved saddling the newly formed company with £2.2bn of debt.

Gareth Davis, chairman of William Hill, said: “It is a very complex three-way combination at a low premium involving substantial risk for (our) shareholders.”

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