William Hill confirms tie-up talks over digital bookmaker CrownBet

Rebecca Smith
William Hill hasn't trotted away with a deal just yet
William Hill hasn't trotted away with a deal just yet (Source: Getty)

William Hill has confirmed it is in talks over a prospective merger with CrownBet after media speculation over a potential tie-up.

But don't bet on a deal being announced anytime soon, as the bookmaker said it was in "very preliminary discussions" with the online wagering business over a possible tie-up with its Australian subsidiary.

"There is no certainty that these preliminary discussions will lead to any transaction," William Hill said in a statement.

Read more: William Hill boosted by Mayweather bout as fixed-odds decision looms

It comes after Australian casino operator Crown Resorts, which has a 62 per cent holding in CrownBet, said it was in discussions over the holding.

"Crown evaluates opportunities regarding its investments from time to time," the firm said in its statement. "Crown confirms that it is in discussions concerning its interest in CrownBet. There is no certainty as to whether any transaction will eventuate."

Earlier this week, William Hill said it was on track to meet expectations for the year, with net retail revenue up three per cent for the latest quarter. Online sales rose six per cent, and the amount wagered on the internet was up 13 per cent.

William Hill boss Philip Bowcock was particularly pleased with the online returns - "in spite of the absence of a major football tournament".

The chief executive also highlighted progress with the firm's cost-cutting exercise, which he said was on track to deliver £40m of annualised savings.

Read more: William Hill is expected to be on target with its latest set of results

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