Market News

William Hill swoops for Mr Green to boost digital sales overseas

31/10/2018 08:08

(Sharecast News) - Spreading its international and digital sources of revenue, bookmaker William Hill has swooped to buy online gaming specialist Mr Green & Co for 2.8bn Swedish krone (£240m). The all-cash offer of SEK69 per share, a premium of 49% to the previous day's closing price on Nasdaq Stockholm, has been recommended to shareholders by the MRG board.

Shareholders holding 40.04% of the shares have already agreed to accept the offer, subject to certain conditions. Based around its international hub in Malta, MRG has remote gambling licences in Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Great Britain and Ireland and expects to add Sweden by year-end.

Last year it reported SEK1.19bn of revenue and in 2018 to date has grown another 44%. "This proposed acquisition accelerates the diversification of William Hill - immediately making us a more digital and more international business," said chief executive Philip Bowcock. As well as the Malta hub, he highlighted the addition of MRG's "market entry expertise and strong growth momentum in a number of European countries". "William Hill will move from a single brand to a suite of brands that can maximise growth opportunities moving forward in new and existing markets." Founded in 2007 and currently with more than 300 employees, MRG's online gaming brands include Mr Green, Redbet, Vinnarum, Bertil, MamaMiaBingo, BingoSjov and BingoSlottet. Bowcock said MRG's online-only business will bump up the group's proportion of online transactions from around 42% to nearer 47% and the proportion of revenues from outside the UK from roughly 14% to nearer 21%. He said Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill's chief digital officer, will be responsible for leading the integration of MRG within the group and has a strong background in working with Nordic online gaming businesses through his time at Betsson.

Investors should be aware that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and that the price of shares and other investments, may fall as well as rise and the amount realised may be less than the original sum invested.

Walker Crips Group plc (Old Change House, 128 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BJ), registered in England, registered number 1432059, incorporates the following companies which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority: Walker Crips Investment Management Limited registered in England number 4774117 member of the London Stock Exchange, Walker Crips Wealth Management Limited registered in England number 3790291, Ebor Trustees Limited registered in England number 3514268, Barker Poland Asset Management LLP registered in England and Wales number OC341149.