William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire Brandywine Bookmaking LLC (Brandywine), a land-based sports betting business operating in Nevada and Delaware. This follows the Group’s recent announcement that it had signed binding agreements to acquire two Nevada land-based sports betting businesses, American Wagering, Inc. and the Club Cal Neva Satellite Race and Sportsbook Division, announced on 14 April 2011.
In the US, sports betting is legal under Federal law in Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. Nevada is the largest with an estimated turnover of $2.7bn and gross win of $151m generated in 2010 from approximately 190 locations.
Brandywine, which employs approximately 90 people, operates 16 sportsbooks in Nevada under the Lucky’s brand and one in St Kitts in the Caribbean. In addition, it is the exclusive odds maker for the Delaware State Sports Lottery, which it operates in partnership with Scientific Games. Scientific Games and Brandywine launched sports betting at the three Delaware casinos in September 2009 after winning a competitive procurement process. Privately owned, Brandywine was licensed in Nevada in June 2008 and has rapidly established a strong operation. In 2010, its revenues were $7.7m. William Hill is acquiring Brandywine for $14.25m in cash before adjustments for working capital and is providing a $1.4m convertible loan; c$16m of enterprise value in total.
As reported at the time of the AWI and Cal Neva acquisitions, William Hill and certain William Hill senior managers are in the process of applying for a non-restricted gaming licence from the Nevada Gaming Commission. This potential acquisition, together with those of AWI and Cal Neva Sportsbook Division, will complete only after successfully finalising the licensing process, which is expected during 2012.
The combined consideration for all three acquisitions is approximately $55m. The impact of the acquisitions is expected to be marginally earnings enhancing (before transaction and integration costs and the amortisation of intangible assets associated with these acquisitions) in the first full year of acquisition, which is expected to be 2013. The Group expects to incur $8m in transaction and integration costs during 2011 and 2012 in respect of these acquisitions.
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, commented:
"We are excited by the opportunity to bring together three highly respected leaders in sports betting in Nevada and Delaware. Brandywine is a good strategic fit for AWI’s and Cal Neva’s sportsbook operations and will give William Hill a leading position in the US land-based sports betting market. This acquisition offers not only a well regarded management team and Nevada operation but also an exclusive land-based sports betting relationship with the Delaware State government. This is particularly attractive as the business-to-government model could prove popular in other states as they regulate land-based sports betting. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to enhance their offering with the breadth of our sports-betting content and technology.”