888 and Rank line up for William Hill merger

William Hill

Bookmaker William Hill has revealed that it has received a merger bid from a consortium composed of 888 and Rank.

Highly preliminary talks have been launched to merge the trio into greater scale business capable of combating competitors including the newly merged Paddy Power/Betfair and Ladbrokes’ combination with Coral in 2015.

The company said: “The Board of William Hill would listen to and consider any proposal which might be forthcoming from the consortium. However, it is not clear that a combination of William Hill with 888 and Rank will enhance William Hill's strategic positioning or deliver superior value to William Hill's strategy which is focused on increasing the group's diversification by growing its digital and international businesses.”

The group has until 21 August to finalise its offer.

It comes after William Hill fired its chief executive James Henderson last week after failing to deliver enough online growth – something a merger with 888 could likely aid.

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