William Hill set to finally make Sportingbet bid

THE DRAWN-OUT negotiations over William Hill’s joint takeover of Sportingbet are set to come to an end this week, with a formal offer finally to be lodged.

With a deadline of 5pm tomorrow approaching, William Hill and bid partner GVC Holdings are putting the finishing touches to a deal valuing Sportingbet at £485m, sources close to the situation confirmed.

This figure, announced by Sportingbet two weeks ago, is less than the £530m originally earmarked, which was revised downwards after a poor set of quarterly results from the company.

The deal comes after months of back and forth between the parties. William Hill and GVC’s interest was first unveiled in September, and deadlines for formal offers have been repeatedly extended. The acquisition will see the online bookie carved up, with William Hill taking Sportingbet’s lucrative Australian operations and GVC taking most of the rest. Citi is William Hill’s lead financial adviser, and Lazard is handling Sportingbet.

The parties declined to comment.