888Holdings made a big move recently by buying out all the assets of William Hill International from Caesars. 888 spent $3.02 billion on the acquisition and are now under pressure to deliver and put in a good performance consistently.
William Hill has been through the wringer lately. It was acquired earlier this year by Caesars. This was mainly for its US operations and sports betting technology.
Since Caesars is currently focused on the US market, it decided to dispose of William Hill’s international assets. This is what 888 wanted and was successful in completing the acquisition.
For 888, this greatly changes the scale of its operations as in the past 888 was mainly focused on its online operations.
With the William Hill purchase, the company is more balanced in its offerings between online and retail, as well as sports betting (888sport) and gaming.
The purchase adds all of William Hill’s international assets except for the US operations. The acquisition also included all of the technology and brands that William Hill used along with more than 10,000 employees. The sudden increase will have its own share of teething problems but 888 will have to put all of it behind quickly and focus on delivering more value to its shareholders.
888 is by no means a novice in the business as the company has already proven that it can operate in multiple markets successfully. The addition of more markets will allow 888 to scale up its operations quickly and bring in more revenue if the integration is successful. It does help that William Hill was performing very well before its acquisition, especially in the UK market.
Strategy Going Forward
888’s management has confirmed that it will be retaining William Hill’s network of real-world betting shops. But some of those brands will not get a lot of attention. William Hill has several secondary brands that 888 might feel are strong enough. For example, the Mr. Green brand might see not that much attention since William Hill already has a strong presence in the UK.
888 will be doing a detailed analysis at which brands are profitable and will then take a call as to which brands it will work with and which brands will be dropped. The biggest challenge right now for 888 is integration. A smooth integration will result in 888 leveraging the best assets of William Hill and creating a massive presence in the international market.