Digital Expansion Continues as William Hill Starts Mr Green Takeover

William Hill has announced the compulsory acquisition of shares from Mr Green has started, signalling another step in its ongoing move away from the live betting sector.

William Hill Philip Bowcock

William Hill’s official takeover of Mr Green has started according to CEO Philip Bowcock. (Image: William Hill PLC)

Made public on February 4, the recent purchase means William Hill now owns 98.5 percent Mr Green & Co AB. With full control handed over to its UK counterpart, Swedish gaming operator Mr Green will be removed from Nasdaq Stockholm by February 15.

Digital Needs Inspire Mr Green Takeover

News of the £242 million takeover first broke in October 2018. Stating that it will facilitate the company’s online expansion, CEO Philip Bowcock said the move will give William Hill a greater footing in Europe.

Prior to the takeover, Mr Green had built up a reputation as one of the leading online gaming operators in Europe. Winning Gaming Awards since 2013, the operator went on to enhance its platform with a sportsbook in 2016.

William Hill has been a bookmaker since 1934 but recent changes to UK betting laws have forced it to move away from its live betting roots.

Higher taxes on racing bets, combined with changes to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), means many of the UK’s top operators are having to refocus their businesses.

In January, unnamed William Hill insiders told The Guardian that plans are afoot to close 900 betting shops. The revelation came just two months after the company issued a profit warning.

To counter the downturn in offline revenue, Bowcock he and his team and building a “digitally-led international business.” The acquisition of Mr Green is a major part of that plan.

William Hill Ramps Up Its Online Presence

For Mr Green, the acquisition will see it gain valuable experience in the sports betting industry. At just three years old, the operator’s sportsbook is yet to achieve the same level of popularity as its gaming platform.

However, with the help of William Hill, it has the opportunity to expand its list of products and  become a leading brand in the betting space.

Conversely, William Hill will benefit from having a new network of sites popular in many of the leading European markets.

In tandem with deals in the US, the British betting brand has increased its online presence dramatically over the last 12 months.

Although there are still hurdles to clear at home and abroad, Bowcock believes enhancing the company’s online footprint will ensure its prosperity in an increasingly competitive marketspace.

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