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William Hill Backs Off Opposition To Scientific Games' Acquisition Of NYX

07 December 2017

Last November, William Hill governance stated to investors that it would move to convert "preference options" in NYX, which the United Kingdom bookmaker had gained for co-funding NYX Gaming's £300 million acquisition of OpenBet technologies (transaction was undertaken in 2016). The Group's Online business (www.williamhill.com) is one of the world's leading online betting and gaming businesses, providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill's products online, through their smartphone or tablet, by telephone and by text services.

For the recent several weeks William Hill has been working on a mutually-beneficial arrangement between the company and Scientific Games Corporation. Following the agreement all the parties have withdrawn from all litigation in the United States and UK.

However, this September brought a controversial situation which involved a third company.

The UK gambling company had moved to block Scientific's CAD$775m (£453m) attempted takeover of fellow American company NYX by beefing up its stake in the latter.

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Scientific Games chose to purchase NYX and the deal was estimated to cost as much as C$775 million which resulted in William Hill applying to converse its preference shares in NYX into ordinary shares.

Scientific Games said in a Wednesday press release that two new parties "have entered into independent agreements" to support the NYX Gaming deal: William Hill Steeplechase Ltd and parent firm William Hill Plc; and AlpInvest Partners Co-Investments. Additionally we are pleased to expand our commercial relationship with Scientific Games in the U.S. market which offers considerable potential should the Supreme Court ruling on PASPA, which is expected next year, provide states with the power to regulate sports betting.

The Supreme Court is set to rule next year on whether the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act ("PASPA") impermissibly directed states to keep bans in place. Given that the SciGames offer already represented a significant premium over NYX's share price at the time the offer was made, scuttling the offer would have cost William Hill itself at least $50 million, and perhaps even more. If the regulation is voted, it could give each state the individual power to regulate sports betting on their territory.

William Hill Backs Off Opposition To Scientific Games' Acquisition Of NYX