A Done deal? Brothers seek to buy William Hill shops if £3bn US takeover goes ahead
Two brothers set to cash in from the £3billion sale of William Hill may also swoop on its British shops.
Fred and Peter Done will make £172million from their 6 per cent stake in the bookmaker, if a takeover by US group Caesars Entertainment goes ahead.
But the pair, who are the founders of rival gambling firm Betfred, may also be poised to snap up William Hill’s betting shops.
Fred (pictured) and Peter Done, the founders of gambling firm Betfred, may be poised to snap up William Hill’s betting shops if a takeover by US group Caesars Entertainment goes ahead
Caesars made it clear this week it was buying William Hill for its rapidly growing US business and had little interest in the rest of the business.
The US firm said it would ‘seek suitable partners or owners’ for the other assets, including the UK business that includes 1,400 High Street bookies.
The Done brothers, who are together worth an estimated £1.3billion, have reportedly expressed an interest in buying the shops, to boost Betfred’s portfolio of 1,500.
At the same time, analysts have said William Hill boss Ulrik Bengtsson would be an obvious candidate to lead a buyout of the UK business including the online operations, which were recently merged with the retail operation.
Private equity companies are also thought to be circling the non-US business.
Caesars’ bid emerged after it was reported the company was in a battle with private equity firm Apollo to buy William Hill.
It has offered 272p per share – or £2.9billion – for the British business and claims its bid is the preferred one.
A spokesman for William Hill declined to comment yesterday.