888 holding's share price soars amid takeover talks with rival William Hill

 
Jessica Morris
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Analysts have predicted a fully of mergers and acquisitions activity in the UK gambling sector (Source: Getty)

888 Holding's share price surged amid reports it's in advanced talks with rival William Hill over a takeover bid.

The betting firm's share price jumped as much as 24 per cent to 182 pence this afternoon. William Hill shares fell 1.2 per cent to 384 pence.

The companies reached a preliminary agreement of 210 pence per share according to a report by the Times, valuing the betting firm at £750.

"The Board of the Company confirms that it received an approach regarding a possible offer for the Company by William Hill PLC," it later said in a statement on the London Stock Exchange.

"There can be no certainty, however, that any firm offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be forthcoming."

Analysts had predicted a flurry of mergers and acquisitions activity in the UK betting sector, as the point of consumption tax which was introduced towards the end of last year squeezes the profit margins of smaller firms.

888 Holding's revenue increased by seven per cent to $400.5 million for the financial year ending 2013, due to strong growth in its casino and poker products.

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