Update: WHO Interest Sold, Confirm Playtech and Will Hill


A confirmation arrived from both Playtech and William Hill that they have agreed on a deal that will see Will Hill exercise its option to buy Playtech's 29 percent interest in the William Hill Online enterprise for GBP 424 million.

It has been specified that Playtech will be entitled to a proportionate share of the FY2013 profits of William Hill Online, until the date of completion of the deal, and that it has chosen to receive the consideration entirely in cash.

Furthermore, it was noted that William Hill must complete the acquisition by the end of April 2013, but that Playtech's software arrangements with William Hill Online will continue following completion of the call option.

Playtech also underlined that it wants to maintain a close working relationship to support William Hill Online's continued growth and future success.

In its statement, Playtech said about WHO that "This transformational transaction created an innovative and exciting gaming business, which has grown very strongly since inception," the statement notes. "William Hill Online is now one of the world's leading online gaming operators, consistently returning annual double-digit growth. To 31 December 2012, Playtech's total share of profits of William Hill Online (excluding software royalties) has been approximately Euro 140 million."

In terms of the ways to use the proceeds from the disposal, Playtech said it will consider both feedback from shareholders and the group's requirements going forward.

"The Board will, amongst other things, be assessing the potential for further value-enhancing acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, with a focus on regulated markets, together with the possibility of a return of capital to shareholders," it said in the statement.

In addition, Mor Weizer, Playtech's CEO, commented: "William Hill Online has been an overwhelming success and has delivered a cash return to Playtech greater than 3.5 times its original investment, excluding software royalties in the four years since inception.

"The success demonstrates the potential to create value by combining a well-established brand with Playtech's best of breed technologies, products and services. I would like to thank the William Hill and William Hill Online management team for their efforts, and we look forward to our strong supplier relationship continuing.'

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