Will Hill and GVC to Make Bid for Sportingbet After All?

After numerous rumors of the potential acquisition of Sportingbet plc and the subsequent share movements, William Hill plc and GVC plc decided to address the rumors with an announcement in which they confirmed that they are considering a possible joint offer for Sportingbet, but stressing that the notice does not indicate their firm attention to make an offer.

As a response, Sportingbet stated that its Board has not received an approach yet, and that no shareholders should take any actions accordingly.

In the William Hill and GVC announcement, it is specified that the two companies have committed to work exclusively with each other, and that any potential offer and subsequent acquisition would see William Hill acquire the Australian and certain other locally licensed businesses of Sportingbet (which would then be a subsidiary of William Hill and not William Hill Online), while GVC would acquire the remaining parts of the Sportingbet business.

"Any offer would be substantially in cash with an element of GVC paper," it is noted in addition to the statement that GVC and William Hill reserve the right to amend the terms and structure of the possible offer in due course.

Furthermore, the announcement specifies: "The Boards of William Hill and GVC believe that by acting in combination they represent a highly credible possible offeror for the entire Sportingbet business, substantially in cash.

"No formal approach has been made to the Board of Sportingbet and there can be no certainty that any offer will be forthcoming and nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made."

However, the two companies have limited time to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Sportingbet - only until 5.00 p.m. on 16 October 2012, in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code.

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