William Hill fails in bid to buy 888 Holdings

William Hill, sponsor of the world darts championship, failed in 888 bid. Picture: Getty

William Hill, sponsor of the world darts championship, failed in 888 bid. Picture: Getty

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BOOKMAKER William Hill has been frustrated in its attempt to buy online gaming group 888 Holdings for a price of more than £700 million.

Casino-on-Net firm 888 confirmed last week that it had received an approach from Hill and said yesterday that the board and the main shareholders in the company held talks with the group over a possible offer.

However, it said those talks were now over following a “significant difference of opinion on value with a key stakeholder”.

The proposal would have valued 888, whose other brands include Pacific Poker, 888ladies bingo and 888sport, at 200p per share or £709m, with a dividend adding an extra £10.6m sweetener for shareholders.

The disclosure of talks last Tuesday – amid speculation of a 210p price – had sent shares surging.

888 said yesterday: “Due to a significant difference of opinion on value with a key stakeholder, it has not been possible to reach agreement on the terms of a possible offer and the board of the company has agreed with William Hill to terminate discussions.”

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