William Hill’s Sportingbet deal delayed further as it hits rocks

WILLIAM HILL’S takeover of online bookie Sportingbet is being pushed back again, the companies will announce today, in the second extension of the drawn-out deal.

The parties, which also include William Hill’s partner GVC Holdings, had set today as a deadline but the complexity of the three-way talks have forced negotiations back further, sources close to the deal said.

William Hill and GVC have agreed to carve up Sportingbet’s operations, which include a lucrative Australian business as well as a number of less profitable operations, paying £530m for the company. This amounts to 61.1p per Sportingbet share, a 39 per cent premium on yesterday’s closing price of 44p.

However, after Sportingbet revealed less-than-spectacular quarterly results on Friday, sources suggested that William Hill and GVC would look to revise the cost of the deal, and could even walk away.

William Hill executives have been mulling the value of the acquisition over the weekend following Sportingbet’s 35 per cent slump in quarterly revenues.

The complications that have led to the delays are down to GVC, which does not have the resources the others do, one individual said.

Neither Sportingbet nor William Hill commented on talks.