Friday 25 September 2020 1:37 pm

William Hill shares surge as it confirms takeover proposals

Shares in William Hill surged in afternoon trading after the betting giant confirmed it had been approached by two suitors over a potential takeover.

In a statement the bookmaker said it had received separate cash proposals from buyout firm Apollo Global Management and casino operator Caesars Entertainment.

William Hill said it received an initial proposal from Apollo on 27 August, before receiving a further offer from the buyout group as well as proposals from Caesars.

The company said discussions were ongoing and there was no certainty that a deal will be agreed.

The two suitors have until 5pm on 23 October to announce a firm intention to make an offer or walk away, William Hill said.

Shares in William Hill jumped more than 35 per cent.

The statement came after Bloomberg earlier this afternoon reported that Apollo had approached William Hill about a potential takeover.

It comes as the betting giant battles a slump in trading due to reduced footfall caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Last month the company said it would permanently close 119 betting shops as a result of the crisis.

The bookie reported a strong first quarter of trading, but swung to a loss after tax of £11.1m in the first half of the year after reporting an £81.9m impairment charge due to the impact of the pandemic on the high street.