William Hill PLC ("William Hill") today announces that it has signed a binding agreement to dispose of William Hill Australia (the "Business") to CrownBet Holdings Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CrownBet which is owned by The Stars Group Inc. and a group of shareholders associated with the founder and CEO of CrownBet, Matthew Tripp, for an enterprise value of A$300m, equivalent to an equity value of A$313.7m.
The Business operates licensed betting, over the telephone, internet and mobile phone platforms in Australia.
The disposal follows William Hill's announcement in its Trading Statement on 15 January 2018 that the Business was undergoing a strategic review as a result of the credit betting ban in Australia and the likely introduction of a Point of Consumption tax in a number of states applying increasing pressure on the profitability of the Business.
In the year ended 26 December 2017, which was not materially affected by the credit betting ban or the introduction of new taxes, William Hill Australia had revenues of A$201m and EBITDA of A$47m. The gross assets of William Hill Australia for the year ended 26 December 2017 was approximately £133m.
The disposal is expected to complete following regulatory approvals from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Northern Territory Racing Commission, which William Hill expect will be obtained in a timely manner. An announcement confirming completion will be issued in due course.
Disposal proceeds, net of costs, will be used initially to reduce Group indebtedness and invested to support further growth of William Hill.
Philip Bowcock, William Hill's Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"We are pleased to announce the sale of William Hill Australia to CrownBet. The disposal follows a strategic review of the Business, launched in January after its profitability came under increased pressure due to the recent credit betting ban and the likely introduction of a Point of Consumption tax. The disposal will allow William Hill to focus on continuing to grow our UK Online and US businesses, particularly as we prepare for the decision on the PASPA appeal due in 2018."
Ciaran O'Brien, William Hill
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