Sportingbet 'snubs takeover bid'
on 30/09/2012 17:59:14
Sportingbet rejected a 52.5p-a-share proposed bid from William Hill, which has teamed up with European gaming company GVC for the deal, according to The Sunday Times.
The market will no doubt be looking for details from Sportingbet when it reports full-year results on Wednesday.
Sportingbet, which was previously a bid target for bookmaker Ladbrokes, has seen its shares surge around 16% since speculation over the talks was confirmed.
It is thought any possible offer would be structured so that William Hill would acquire the Australian and certain other locally licensed businesses of Sportingbet, while GVC would acquire the remaining parts of the business.
William Hill and GVC must make a firm intention to make an offer by October 16.
It is not clear if the suitors will make a higher offer, given that shares have already been boosted considerably by bid hopes.
Sportingbet is forecast by Edison Research to report profits of £34.5m, down £3m on a year earlier but with expectations that the performance will improve in the current year on the back of strong Australian trading.
Guernsey-based Sportingbet was founded in 1997 and has more than 2.5 million registered customers in 200 countries, who place more than one million bets per day.
William Hill accounts for around a quarter of the market, with about 2,300 betting shops.
Sportingbet and William Hill were not immediately available for comment.