William Hill to Make a Bid for Playtech?

The media is buzzing about the possibility of William Hill making a bid to buy gambling software company, Playtech, sometime next year. The two companies have previously collaborated on William Hill Online (WHO) in which Playtech owns 29%.

According to Ralph Topping, William Hill Chief Executive, he and the chairman, Gareth Davis, met monthly with Playtech. 'Discussions about the future are positive … despite colourful episodes over the past three years [the venture] has been good for their investors and good for our investors. The current arrangement is one that needs to change - both organisations recognise that', said Topping.

In an ever growing competitive online gambling market, the William Hill brand has continued to flourish. WHO profits have risen by 17% to £107 million while profits from William Hill's traditional betting establishments have declined 4% to £197 million. William Hill is the largest bookmaker in the UK with approximately 2,400 shops. They aspire to expand with regard to their international operations. William Hill and Playtech may be a match made in heaven.

Regarding the rise in profits, Topping also said, 'I think you are seeing the working man saying that some of his pleasures are just not going to be foregone. He's not spending on a new car and might be cutting back on holidays but he needs a bit of brightness in his life.'

Within the upcoming year, William Hill has the option to obtain the 29% stake in WHO that is currently held by Playtech.

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