William Hill acquires loss-making Australian betting site for £20m

William Hill, the world’s biggest bookmaker, has announced the acquisition of Australian online betting business Tom Waterhouse (tomwaterhouse.com) for an upfront cash consideration of A$34m (£20m).

The bookie will also take on up to A$6m of balance sheet liabilities with the transaction and offered a potential additional earn-out of up to A$70m in cash if tomwaterhouse.com can achieve an operational profit of A$10m to A$30m in the year ending 31 December 2015. The potential total value of the acquisition, therefore, is up to A$110m.

This is Willaim Hill’s latest foray into the Australian market, building on its £459m acquisition of Sportingbet in March this year.

Tomwaterhouse.com employs around 80 people and is one of Australia’s fastest growtig online racing and sports betting businesses. It is currently not profitable, but it is expected to become so through the William Hill Australia operation.

Ralph Topping, chief executive of William Hill, said:

We are pleased to have secured this acquisition. International expansion is a key part of our growth strategy and making Australia our second home is a priority. The Sportingbet acquisition gave us a strong and proven platform with an experienced management team. Acquiring tomwaterhouse.com gives us a rapidly growing business that appeals to a complementary customer base.

We are bringing together some of the best talent in the bookmaking industry into one formidable team. I'm impressed by Tom Waterhouse and his team, who are passionate and entrepreneurial. They've built a good business in a short period of time and have achieved strong growth momentum.

Completion of the deal is conditional on approval form the Northern Territory Racing Commission.