Caesars Get William Hill Green Light

High profile US gambling group Caesars Entertainment has cleared a key hurdle in its efforts to take over the US arm of the UK betting company William Hill.

The company has confirmed that it has completed the antitrust waiting period that is an essential part of its potential multi-billion pound takeover, announcing the early termination of the waiting period under the terms of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The waiting period is a mandatory requirement, giving time for all proposed mergers and acquisitions to be examined for potential anti-competitive issues.

In a statement, Caesars, which is based in Nevada, said that they are continuing to go through the processes to obtain all the relevant approvals to close the deal and that they hoped it would be able to go through in March 2021.

The news of the successful completion of the antitrust period follows two further milestones in the acquisition, passed during the last two months. On November 19, Caesars earned the approval of the Mississippi Gaming Commission and the okay from the West Virginia Lottery followed on December 16.

That still leaves the transaction subject to the approval of a number of other bodies, including the Indiana Gaming Commission, Nevada Gaming Commission, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and Casino Control Commission, Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. In addition, the deal will have to be approved by the High Court in the UK, along with administrative and post-closing approvals from a number of other US agencies.      

These developments come just a month after William Hill shareholders gave their approval to the Caesars takeover, which has been described as a ‘historic’ acquisition. William Hill shareholders have approved the recommended offer from Caesars, subject to the final legal approvals. Each of the resolutions supporting the transaction, which is said to be worth £2.9 billion, achieved the necessary majority and 86% of votes cast were in favour.

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