Shares in William Hill rose nearly 3 per cent yesterday to 302.8p after it confirmed that talks were under way with a Canadian group for a “merger of equals”, creating one of the world’s biggest online gambling firms.
The bookmaker, which was founded in 1934, said: “The potential merger would be consistent with the strategic objectives of both William Hill and Amaya and would create a clear international leader across online sports betting, poker and casino.”
Amaya owns the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands and the proposed deal comes months after Mecca Bingo operator Rank Group pulled out of a joint bid with 888 for William Hill.
The gambling sector has seen growing consolidation in the past year, with Coral and Ladbrokes inking a £2 billion tie-up, for example.
Jason Holden, analyst at Liberum, said there was “a complementary logic” to the latest merger talks.