William Hill Shareholders OK Caesars Bid

Billionaire bookmaker Fred Done, the founder of Betfred, threw his considerable weight behind Caesars Entertainment’s bid to acquire rival sportsbook, William Hill, and company shareholders approved the sale.

Fred Done, the billionaire owner of sportsbook, Betfred, helped to decide the fate of Caesars Entertainment in its bid to acquire William Hill. Done, William Hill’s largest investor, cast his vote November 19 in support of a £2.9 billion (US$3.8 billion) takeover bid.

Caesars tendered its offer in September after U.S. private equity fund Apollo, tabled a competing bid. William Hill chairman Roger Devlin supported the bid after the bookmaker suffered a blow from a government crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals led to a fall of in share price.

U.K. bookmakers rivals GVC and Paddy Power Betfair agreed to lucrative partnerships with U.S. operators. Done told the Daily Telegraph in March that William Hill was “miles in front” of the GVC in U.S. operations.

“Businesses are all about value for money, and this is why I’m buying the Hills shares because they are cheap,” he said.

Caesars has said it will sell William Hill’s non-US operations once shareholders approve the takeover, and Done is reportedly interested in buying the assets.