Hills and Canadian firm Amaya in merger talks

William Hill: have seen their competitors complete mergers in 2016

PICTURE: David Dew William Hill in merger talks with Amaya
By David Baxter 8:01AM 8 OCT 2016

WILLIAM HILL are the latest high street bookmaker to be involved in merger talks, continuing a trend which has dominated the sector this year.

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The firm confirmed they are in talks with Canadian gaming company Amaya and in a joint-statement said a potential merger would form a "clear international leader" in online gaming.

Montreal-based Amaya operate the Full Tilt and PokerStars brands, and the statement added that a possible merger would be "consistent with the strategic objectives" of both companies.

GVC Holdings, who were a junior partner in William Hill's takeover of Sportingbet and have subsequently taken over bwin themselves, were also mentioned as a potential suitor for Amaya, but did not feature in the statement.

In August William Hill were the subject of a merger approach from Rank Group and 888 Holdings, but rejected a bid totalling £3.6 billion, stating that it "substantially undervalues" the firm.

The bookmaker has endured a troubled year, with James Henderson relieved of his duties as chief executive in a bid to arrest the firm's decline following a profits warning, while their half-year results revealed a 16 per cent drop in operating profit to £131.1m compared to the same period in 2015.

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