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William Hill confirms merger talks with Amaya of Canada

Staff Writer |
William Hill confirmed it was in merger talks with Toronto-listed Amaya Inc, owner of the PokerStars website, having rejected offers from smaller UK rivals in the summer.

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William Hill said a potential deal would be classified as a reverse takeover.

"Over recent months, the board of William Hill has been evaluating options to accelerate William Hill's strategy of increasing diversification by growing its digital and international businesses," it said in a statement.

The confirmation that Amaya has been reviewing its strategy since February 2016 hints that talks might have begun before London-listed Rank and 888 Holdings made their ultimately unsuccessful play for William Hill in August.

Interim chief executive Philip Bowcock was promoted from financial director in July, with some media reports suggesting he had held discussions soon after this.

"The potential merger would be consistent with the strategic objectives of both William Hill and Amaya and would create a clear international leader across online sports betting, poker and casino," the statement said.

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