William Hill in talks to merge Australian unit with CrownBet

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British bookmaker William Hill has clarified that it has held “very preliminary” discussions with CrownBet, the 62%-owned online wagering business of Australia’s Crown Resorts, regarding a possible combination with William Hill Australia.

“There is no certainty that these preliminary discussions will lead to any transaction,” William Hill said.

Earlier in the day, an Australian media had speculated that the operator’s unit CrownBet and William Hill were believed to have held in-depth talks on a potential deal. It was not immediately clear which party would be the acquirer in any transaction.

The Australian casino operator had said earlier that it is in discussions about its 62 per cent holding in CrownBet without providing further details.

Talks between CrownBet and William Hill follow a planned $4.7bn takeover of Australian lottery owner Tatts Group by horse race betting giant Tabcorp Holding .

Shares of the Crown Resorts fell 0.6 per cent today compared with a flat benchmark index. Shares in William Hill were down 0.6 per cent in early trade.

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