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Rank and 888 seek talks with William Hill over takeover proposal

Published 10/08/2016

Rank and 888 say the move would create a
Rank and 888 say the move would create a "transformational force" in global betting

Rank Group and 888 have asked to hold talks with the board of William Hill despite having their takeover offer rebuffed by the betting giant.

Online operator 888 and casino giant Rank said its proposal of 364 pence per share, coupled with cost savings of £100 million per year, would create a "transformational force" in the global betting industry.

In a statement, the two firms said: " 888 and Rank believe the proposal represents a compelling value creation opportunity for William Hill and its shareholders and would welcome the opportunity to engage with the board of William Hill on a constructive basis, with the goal of consummating a recommended transaction."

William Hill batted away the £3.6 billion three-way merger on Tuesday because it does not believe a tie-up would enhance its ''strategic positioning or deliver superior value for shareholders'' compared with its own strategy.

The firm said: ''Having reviewed the proposal with its financial advisers, Citi and Barclays, the board of William Hill has unanimously rejected the proposal as it substantially undervalues William Hill.''

It comes after William Hill said last week that half-year profits were boosted by a strong Euro 2016, helping offset a dire Cheltenham Festival.

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