William Hill Shareholders Pour Cold Water on Amaya Deal

Justin Bieber poker in London

William Hill and Amaya’s grand plans fall through, while Justin Bieber plays poker in London. (Image: @_Hetrick/Twitter.com)

The William Hill and Amaya dream merger is all but dead according to a spokesperson for the former.

Ever since news of a potential deal hit the headlines at the start of October, financial experts have questioned the terms of the merger. Bloomberg was the first to point out that ongoing legal issues for PokerStars (an Amaya asset) as well as potentially unsustainable levels of debt would be highly unappealing for shareholders.

Best Deal for Both Parties

Following Bloomberg’s analysis, William Hill shareholder Parvus Asset Management raised its objection to the deal, essentially saying that it didn’t offer an attractive investment proposition.

With the initial wave of positive speculation slowly subsiding, William Hill explained this week that it will no longer be pursuing a deal after discussing the proposals with shareholders. Confirming this statement, Amaya told the press that it was in both operators’ best interests if they remained independent entities and ended their negotiations now.

For William Hill, this may come as more of a blow than it is for Amaya. With other UK bookmakers managing to reach deals in the last 12 months, William Hill has made it clear that it too would like to consolidate with an equivalent.

Unfortunately, offers from Rank/888 and now Amaya have been rejected, which begs the question: what sort of deal is William Hill really looking for? Naturally, only those in the boardroom at William Hill can answer that question, but it’s likely the largest bookmaker in Europe is looking to get the lion’s share of any merger or takeover.

Bieber Bluffing in London

In other UK gambling news this week, Canadian pop prince Justin Bieber was spotted playing poker inside London’s Empire Casino. The 22-year-old is no stranger to foreign poker rooms and has previously been spotted running bluffs and value bets inside the Borgata and Morongo Casino & Resort.

Bieber, who has a reported net worth of £162 million, is in London while he’s touring the UK. Staying in a 15-bedroom mansion that costs £108,333-a-month to rent, Bieber certainly isn’t short of a bob or two.

However, according to players inside Leicester Square’s Empire, he wasn’t playing for high stakes and bought into the daily £200 cash game.

“He was quiet in general and kept himself to himself,” one player told the Daily Mail.

On top of enjoying time at the felt, Bieber is also something of a poker entrepreneur. Alongside hip-hop artist Soulja Boy, Bieber owns a stake in World Poker Fund Holdings, a company that reportedly offers a combination of online poker, promotion, and live events.

Although we’re still waiting to see what World Poker Fund Holdings is really all about, there’s no doubt that one of its main shareholders really does have a passion for the game.

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