William Hill Now Owns 98.5% of MRG's Stakes

The ongoing acquisition of MRG, Mr Green and RedBet operator, by UK betting titan, William Hill, is entering its final phase and, as per bookmakers expectations, should be finalized this month.

The company’s latest public announcement proclaims that it has increased its stake in this successful online gambling firm to 98.5%. The purchase of the remaining shares (SEK69 in cash per share) is already underway, as the brand looks to attain full control of MRG in the coming weeks.

All Trading Ceases on Feb 15th

MRG’s trading activities will come to a halt on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange on February 15th, as per the agreement of accretion. William Hill hopes to add “a more digital and more international” dimension to their business, having first announced plans for $308 million attainment of MRG in November last year.

The company was given permission by jurisdictions’ authorities to proceed with this purchase in early January…

…and although the company hoped to have everything wrapped up by January 25th, the slight prolonging of the process did not bother CEO, Philip Bowcock, who said of future business boost:

“With rapid expansion underway in the US, building on profitable foundations, and the acquisition of Mr Green nearing completion, we look forward to making further progress this year.”

Lessening Domestic Footprint

The integration of MRG within the William Hill group will be led and supervised by Hill’s Chief Digital Officer, Ulrik Bengtsson. As the iGaming brand is licensed in UK, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Malta and Latvia…

…this purchase also opens up numerous new territories for WH – exactly what the company was going for in lieu of their planned cutting down of UK exposure in the wake of Brexit uncertainties.

The document published by the company proclaims: “MRG’s online-only business will increase the William Hill Group’s share of revenue and profits from online as well as from outside the UK, and reduce William Hill’s exposure to the UK market.”

Dwindling Profits and Redundancies

Perhaps this acquisition’s finalization cannot come soon enough and is just what the company is hoping for, as alarming reports suggesting a 15% drop in revenue for 2018 surfaced last month.

Although the final version of the report is due on March 1st, the figure of £234 million in operating profits is an utmost certainty. Bowcock is adamant that after a turbulent and “pivotal 2018,” the company has a “greater clarity around key challenges and opportunities” for business which will be remodeling retail offer in 2019.

The MRG acquisition also brought to attention some unpopular measures taken by the company…

…as it reviewed over 100 job positions in their Gibraltar, Leeds and London offices, with most employees relocated to other roles, positions and locations, although there have also been some severances and redundancies.

Source:

“William Hill ups MRG stake to 98.5%”, igamingbusiness.com, February 5, 2019.

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