William Hill Continues Australian Expansion With $31M Purchase Of Tom Waterhouse
Bookmaker William Hill "has continued its expansion in Australia with the acquisition of a bookmaker controlled by the country's most famous horseracing family," the Waterhouse family, according to Neil Hume of the FINANCIAL TIMES. It has agreed to pay A$34M ($31M) to "acquire tomwaterhouse.com, an internet betting group found by Tom Waterhouse, the son of horse trainer Gai Waterhouse." Australia has "one of the largest licensed betting markets in the world and has seen strong growth in online, fixed-odds and sports betting." William Hill entered the market earlier this year when it "bought the Australian assets of Sportingbet as part of an international expansion strategy" by CEO Ralph Topping. Analysts said that the acquisition will make William Hill the "leading online operator in Australia" with a 25% market share. As well as the "upfront payment of $A34M, William Hill will assume A$6M of balance sheet liabilities." There is "also a performance-related earnout agreement that could see the full purchase price rise to A$117M, including integration costs" (FT, 8/9).