It has become clear that Parvus Asset Management has reduced its share stake in William Hill. The news of the reduction from 13% to 12% broke on Wednesday. Parvus has actually been the largest shareholder in the bookmaker for some time now. However, the move to reduce the number of shares held by the company has gained some attention, mainly from City investors. This is all because two of the bookmaker’s fellow operators are currently in preparation for a merger that will amount to £4 billion.
It’s not the first time that Parvus has lowered its interest in William Hill shares though. In June of this year, the company held a 17.2% stake in the bookmaker. However, since that time, it has cut its shares a total of six times with the inclusion of Wednesday’s reduction. Most market analysts consider this move to be due to the increase in Hill’s share price as of late. And the reason for the increase? Well, November saw William Hill post an encouraging update in regard to its trading status. This displayed a considerable improvement in online business for the company.
A Considerable Turnaround
The post was the first sign of a great turnaround for William Hill, which has seen its profits decline during the past few years. However, 2017 has seen the company drag its way out of the descent for both its iGaming and land-based betting operations.
The share price of the company did jump quite suddenly in recent weeks as well for another reason. The dispute with Nyx Gaming and Scientific Games was finally brought to an end with a settlement. Furthermore, William Hill also appointed a new chairman in Roger Devlin before Christmas. Both of these moves saw the share price of the gambling company shoot up significantly. Due to this, many analysts are wondering if the sportsbook will return to its merger talks with The Stars Group.
One of William Hill’s biggest issues has been its online platform and subsequent gambling business. Therefore, it seems like a stronger possibility for the bookmaker to join in a consolidation wave. It was only last Autumn that William Hill went into consolidation talks alongside the owner of PokerStars. However, the company turned down a £5 billion deal in this instance, mainly due to pressure put on them from Parvus. And this was mainly due to Parvus inciting that The Stars Group was struggling to lower its own net debt.
Since that time, the company has managed to reduce this net debt and all divisions have gone through significant growth. This is true for online poker, casino and sports betting operations under the group.