William Hill's $565 Million Offer For Sportingbet Rejected

William Hill's $565 Million Offer For Sportingbet RejectedBritish e-gaming operator Sportingbet has rejected a £350 million ($564.9 million) takeover bid for the company by William Hill Plc and GVC, explaining that the offer “significantly undervalues the business and its future prospects.”
Sportingbet was founded in 1997 and has since grown to become an online gambling giant offering sportsbooks, virtual games, casino sites, and online poker. Sportingbet also boasts more than 2.5 million customers in 200 different countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain. However, it is perhaps the company’s strong presence in Australia which has enticed William Hill to make a bid for the company as it seeks to make a return to the Australian market since its withdrawal on June 4th. The future prospect of Australian online gaming deregulation obviously makes acquisition of the already regulated top bookmaker an attractive proposition for William Hill.
“Ninety-two per cent of our turnover is from the UK so we’re absolutely looking at expanding internationally, but only in regulated markets,” explained William Hill’s head of investor relations  Lyndsay Wright.
For its part, GVC is jointly involved in the bid and while William Hill is seeking to acquire Sportingbet’s regulated assets, GVC is interested in the company’s “grey” unregulated markets. Last October, in fact, GVC purchased Sportingbet’s unregulated Turkish business for €142.5 million, and as Sportingbet CEO Andy McIver explains:
“We used to operate a scatter gun approach where we would operate in a country until the regulatory picture became clearer..Our goal [now] is to be as regulated as possible and it was just a case of when we reached that tipping point.”
with its share price currently at 52.74, Sportingbet has a market capitalization of £351.74 million. However, the Sportingbet board categorically rejected the 52.5p a share bid by William Hill and analysts believe the next bid expected by  October 16th will increase to around £400 million, or more than 60p a share.

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