William Hill upped its bet on the growing online gambling business yesterday as it exercised its right to buy out partner Playtech from their internet joint venture for £424 million.
The deal will be paid for by a £375m rights issue and the bookmaker’s existing debt facility.
Chief executive Ralph Topping said the acquisition was a “major milestone” for the company, which is also on the verge of completing a £454m deal for the Australian business of Sportingbet.
Greg Johnson at Shore Capital said the enlarged William Hill would be in contention for entrance into the FTSE 100.
“These two deals are transformational, increasing the proportion of profits generated online to over 50 per cent,” he added.