William Hill has announced a software license deal with Playtech that will see the two create one of the world’s largest online gaming and sportsbetting concerns.
The agreement is aimed at bringing Britain’s second largest bookmaker into line with others in the Internet gaming industry and will see the creation of a new subsidiary company called William Hill Online. Isle of Man-based Playtech is to supply this new concern with casino, poker and other gaming software products on a phased basis beginning in January before moving on to an exclusive relationship for casino and poker from the start of 2010.
Playtech revealed that it plans to invest around $238.4 million into the new venture, which will run for a minimum of five years, in exchange for a 29 percent stake of the business along with any earnings. This share could rise to 32 percent depending on certain conditions relating to integration while William Hill will retain a right to buy out Playtech's interests in the new subsidiary after four and six years on an independent fair value basis.
William Hill revealed that its new online venture, which will feature its own much-delayed platform offering the ability to bet in-running for the first time, would pro-forma produce net revenues of $323.4 million this year alongside underlying profits of $127.6 million.
“It is well documented we have made slow progress in our technological developments in the last three to four years,” said Ralph Topping, Chief Executive Officer for William Hill.
“At a stroke, this gives us access to new brains, new ideas, new ways of doing things and the hell of a lot of people that we just did not have.”