William Hill rejects revised bid from 888 and Rank

Bookmaker William Hill has turned down a revised takeover proposal from rivals 888 and Rank.

William Hill said it saw 'no merit' in engaging with 888 and Rank. Picture: Rob McDougall

The group rejected an initial £3.16 billion approach from the duo last week, and today said it sees “no merit in engaging” with the consortium.

While 888 and Rank have maintained the cash element of their advance at 199p per William Share, they have increased the number of shares the bookmaker’s investors would receive in their bid vehicle to 0.860, up from 0.725 previously. That would see William Hill shareholders owning 48.8 per cent of the combined group, compared with 44.6 per cent under the earlier proposal.

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William Hill chairman Gareth Davis said: “This revised proposal continues to substantially undervalue the company and the cash element of the proposal has not changed. Therefore, the board sees no merit in engaging.

“As we have said before, this is highly opportunistic and complex and does not enhance the strategic positioning of William Hill. The board continues to believe we have a strong team to deliver superior value to our shareholders and trading at the start of the second half gives us renewed confidence in our stand-alone strategy.”

Under City takeover rules, 888 and Rank have until 21 August to either make a formal offer or walk away.