Wednesday, September 19 16:48:13
William Hill is considering making a joint bid for Sportingbet, with Britain's biggest bookmaker keen to get its hands on the online gaming firm's lucrative Australian operations.
William Hill and Sportingbet's smaller online rival GVC Holdings said on Wednesday in response to a recent rise in Sportingbet's share price that they were considering making a joint offer for the company.
William Hill said it was interested in Sportingbet's Australian operations, which account for over 90 percent of Sportingbet's profits and comprise around a third of Australia's internet gambling market. GVC would acquire most of the rest, the companies said.
"The boards of William Hill and GVC believe that by acting in combination they represent a highly credible possible offeror for the entire Sportingbet business, substantially in cash," they said in a statement today.
No formal approach had yet been made, they added. Under British takeover rules, they will need to make a formal offer or walk away by October 16.
Sportingbet shares have been rising steadily over the last three months and had gone up from 44 pence at the open on Wednesday to trade at 47 pence just before the announcement was made.