William Hill Could Block Scientific Games Acquisition of NYX

Publish: 28.12.2017

It’s seemed that Scientific Games’ acquisition of NYX Gaming deal was a done deal, but it looks like William Hill could have the final word on the whole matter.

A division of the UK bookmaker William Hill is one of the major shareholders of the Las Vegas-headquartered company could vote against the proposed $631 million takeovers next month.

Possible Scenarios

When NYX bought sports betting technology firm OpenBet, back in April last year, in a transaction worth around $360 million, William Hill contributed roughly one-third of that sum. This investment was made to ensure William Hill remains a priority customer for OpenBet, who powers the company’s sports betting platform.

According to available information, William Hill could vote in favor of the proposed takeover, but only if received guarantees that would ensure continuity of William Hill sports betting operations.

These guarantees would come in the form of a commercial agreement with Scientific Games, while the failure to reach an agreement on the issue would mean a decisive William Hill “no” and effectively blocking the acquisition.

Sources from NYX say William Hill demanded the rights to a copy of NYX source code and certain anti-competitive arrangements in US jurisdictions, but no other details are available at this moment.

What Will Happen Next?

Once the William Hill-owned NYX convertible preference shares are converted into ordinary ones, the company would have a stake of around 32%.

In the meantime, NYX remains focused on the proposed Scientific Games takeover, but the company’s representatives say they are considering making appropriate legal actions against William Hill, in order to protect the shareholders as well as the interests of the Las Vegas-based digital gaming provider.

Following William Hill announcement, NYX shares dropped by 15% on Wednesday, and additional 1.5% on Thursday.

According to William Hill, the statement came as a response to NYX move which went against the rights William Hill acquired in 2016.