William Hill Sells Outstanding MRG Shares

David Williams | 07 Feb 2019

William Hill ImageAs William Hill’s acquisition of MRG nears conclusion, the British-based gambling company has increased its holdings in the MRG group to 98.5%. MRG, as it exists now, will cease trading on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange on the 15th of February.

William Hill initiated the bid to acquire MRG (Mr. Green Group) in October last year. The company initiated the acquisition at a price of $309 million, the equivalent to EUR6.64 a share, as part of Hill’s strategy to diversify its portfolio. An important step in securing market share’ considering its reported operating profit decrease of 15%. The company expected to be hard hit by the regulatory changes in the UK.

Sealing the Deal

At the time the acquisition was initiated the company’s CEO, Philip Bowcock, and he described the result of the purchase as, ‘a William Hill that would be more digital and more international in the online gambling and betting industry’. The acquisition will give the brand an additional presence in Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The company overcame the final hurdle in the purchase of MRG earlier in January, when it received the all clear from regulators to complete the purchase.

Now with the purchase set to be completed by the end of this month, the brand is initiating the final compulsory purchase of the outstanding MRG shares as per the sales agreement. The remaining shareholders are expected to receive settlement by the 8th of February.

No further comment has been made regarding the potential restructuring and possible job losses for MRG staff.

The Way of The Future

Chief Digital Officer, Ulrik Bengtsson, is responsible for the integration of the two companies. Ulrik joined William Hill in February last year, vacating his position as CEO of Betsson to join the UK operator.

The acquisition of MRG alleviates William Hill’s dependency on the quickly changing UK market, and gives it a stronger European presence, in addition to its new US sports betting markets. The betting and casino brand will now be offering punters services in the Nordics, US, Europe and of course Britain, making it a truly international company. In addition to its current portfolio, its new brands include RedBet, Mr.Green, Bertil, and MamaMia Bingo.

The William Hill brand was established 84 years ago, and today employs 16000 people in eight countries in various sectors of the betting and gambling industries. With its new acquisition the brand looks set to grow even bigger, and take on a greater share of the global gaming market.