(Bloomberg) -- GVC Holdings Plc is open to bidding for the non-U.S. businesses of rival gambling company William Hill Plc, said new Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev.
American casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. is buying William Hill for $3.7 billion and is likely to put its U.K. and European assets up for sale as part of the deal, which goes to a shareholder vote on Nov. 19.
“My tendency would be to look into it, and of course everything has a price at the end -- and if it does make sense, it’s something that we can definitely look at,” Segev said in a phone interview. Caesars’ rival suitor for William Hill, private equity firm Apollo Management International, withdrew from bidding for the whole group on Thursday.
Former Chief Operating Officer Segev stepped into the CEO role at the owner of Ladbrokes Coral in July after Kenny Alexander stepped down. In a strategy update on Thursday, he renamed GVC as ‘Entain’ and signaled a push into dozens of new regulated markets and esports. He said the moves could help double or triple the size of the business over the next five years.
In an effort to improve corporate governance, Segev plans to withdraw GVC from unregulated markets, where it currently makes about 4% of sales, by the end of 2023. He’s looking to expand into as many as 60 new countries around the world such as the Czech Republic, Mexico, and Kenya.
Segev sees an opportunity to address new audiences using video game and esport platforms like Fortnite and Twitch. However, he said the biggest immediate opportunity remains the U.S., where the Supreme Court effectively legalized sports betting in 2018. GVC has a partnership with U.S. operator MGM Resorts International.
“It’s going to be the largest market, and it’s key for us,” said Segev.
Gambling in GVC’s home market of the U.K. faces further regulation: The government is expected to review gambling laws in the next few months. And tax authorities are investigating “potential corporate offending” by GVC related to its former Turkish online gambling business.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.