William Hill has finally confirmed that they are definitely buying out Playtech, their online partner.
The gambling company have confirmed they are to pay £424 million for full control of William Hill Online and this marks a considerable advance in the brand’s planned market expansion.
Playtech currently owns a 29% stake in the online arm of the bookmaking firm, but after much negotiating they have now agreed to sell. This is the second major deal William Hill has confirmed in the last three months, after already taking on the Spanish and Australian operations of Sportingbet in an agreement worth £460 million, which will be settled mid-March.
The company’s chief executive, Ralph Topping, has described the move as rounding off an extremely successful twelve months for the brand which has seen them move for the first time into the US and Australian markets.
As well as these two online deals, William Hill hasn’t forgotten the roots of its brand and has also invested in its traditional betting shops, planning to expand the number to nearly 2,400.
Shareholders are said to be behind the Playtech deal and must feel confident that 2013 will be a very significant year for the brand, with share prices already up by 9.6% on the back of the announcement.
This ends four years of a rather contentious working relationship with Playtech, as although much success was had, there were also plenty of strikes and dramatic vetoes. It looks like the future will be much calmer at Will Hill with their online operations now 100% under their control.