William Hill & GVC Holdings, is expected to raise its price after Sportingbet had rejected a £350m approach.
The joint venture offerer a 52.5p a share bid to Sportingbet by letter, which was unanimously rejected by the Sportingbet board.

William Hill would not comment on the reports, but it is believed that Ralph Topping, William Hill’s CEO, and GVC boss Kenny Alexander will agree to raise the stakes before a Takeover Panel deadline on October 16.

Analysts expect the two joint bidders will have to offer more than 60p a share, even though the online bookie’s share price has not gone north of 52.25p since William Hill and GVC announced on September 19 that they were in exclusive talks about making a joint approach.

A 60p a share bid would value Sportingbet at £400m.

William Hill is after Sportingbet’s Australian business, which accounts for 90pc of its profits.

GVC, which last year bought Sportingbet’s Turkish business for €142.5m (£113m), would take on the more politically sensitive, unregulated operations.

Sportingbet’s advisers at Lazard are trying to drum up interest among other operators in the sector, such as Ladbrokes, to spark off a bidding war.

But many analysts believe a rival approach is unlikely given that few others will want to take on Sportingbet’s unregulated assets.

Source: gaming-awards.com

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