PokerStars up for sale? According to a Reuters news report, Amaya and William Hill are in ongoing discussions over a potential merger. Other rumors suggested that GVC Holdings was also interested in PokerStars. The group, based on the Isle of Man, is the current owner of bwin. However, GVC was never officially mentioned in the release.
“Canadian online gambling company Amaya Inc and British bookmaker William Hill Plc said they were in talks to combine in a merger of equals, confirming a Reuters report about the discussions earlier on Friday. The all-share merger would be "consistent with the strategic objectives" of both companies, they said in a joint statement.
Amaya has received strong buyout interest from other companies in the industry and some private equity firms, two sources familiar with the situation said.”
In the U.K. and Europe, the top sports books and betting ships have been in the middle of a merging blitz. Last year, Ladbrokes and Coral joined forces, which was a shock to most online gaming and gambling industry experts who never saw that union coming. In addition, Betfair and Paddy Power united to create a behemoth gaming company.
William Hill recently rejected a merger offer over the summer when 888 and Rank Group showed interest. Instead of getting gobbled up by a rival, William Hill is focused on expanding their offerings. PokerStars and their other verticals such as daily fantasy sports site BetStars make the union far more enticing for William Hill.