The William Hill-Playtech Partnership Comes to an End

The joint venture between gambling company William Hill and leading software provider Playtech is coming to an end with William Hill taking the first step towards exercising its call option. Casino blog sites report that the gaming giant has asked for an evaluation of its 29% stake in the joint venture ahead of the call option next month.

The venture has been extremely successful but not without its difficulties, with tense relations following mass staff walkouts in William Hill offices in Tel Aviv and Bulgaria. The relationship has further been strained by Playtech’s desire to work with Ladbrokes, William Hill’s high-street competitor. Playtech has deals with Marvel and several movie houses, providing a range of popular online casino slots including Iron Man slot, The Mummy and Rocky and is keen to work with Ladbrokes.

Last year, William Hill was forced to take out an injunction to prevent Playtech from selling its stake in the venture. The company has made no secret of the fact that it would like full control over its internet gaming division, which is the fastest-growing and most profitable sector of the business, and over its acquisitions. Playtech recently exercised its right of veto to prevent William Hill from acquiring mobile betting operator Probability.

With the dissolution all but confirmed, analysts have begun evaluating William Hill’s stake and consider it to be valued at £300-493 million. Both parties will bring in banks to provide an estimate, with a third bank on standby if the evaluations have too much discrepancy.

With William Hill back in full control of its strategic decisions and the company posting healthy profits post-Olympics, this gambling company appears to be going from strength to strength.