William Hill's formal offer to acquire Sportingbet has been extended until Dec. 4 to give Britain's largest bookmaker more time to work through complex negotiations that include a joint bid with GVC Holdings.
The original deadline was set to expire Nov. 13, but the Takeover Panel has granted the parties three additional weeks to come to an agreement to purchase the online gaming company.
William Hill and GVC Holdings received provisional backing from Sportingbet's board in October to acquire Sportingbet for 61.1 pence per share after two previous lower bids of 52.5 and 55 were declined. Recent reports from eGaming Review indicate that the purchase price may actually reach 65 pence per share.
William Hill is keen on Sportingbet's Australia operations that are leading the market in telephone and online gambling in that country. Most of William Hill's revenue is generated in Britain, but overseas expansion is underway that has included the acquisition of sportsbooks in the U.S. gambling capital of Nevada.
Also a factor in the deal is Sportingbet's presence in Spain, where gambling regulations have recently been clarified by gaming officials. GVC Holdings is reportedly seeking to acquire Sportingbet's market share in less regulated and riskier regions, such as Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Portugal.