William Hill Online Buys Partner's Shares

William Hill Online pays $643 million to buy 29% interest held by minority partner.

Optimistic about potential growth in Internet gaming in the U.S., British bookmaker William Hill has bought out the minority shares software company Playtech holds in William Hill Online.

William Hill paid $643 million to buy out the 29% its minority partner Playtech had held.

In a release outlining the deal, the company said it sees opportunity for expansion in Australia and the U.S., where New Jersey and Nevada have passed legislation to allow Internet gaming. William Hill already has a significant brick and mortar presence in Nevada, where it owns 150 sportsbooks.

"This joint venture has been very successful for both parties and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Playtech as a key software supplier," said William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping in a release. "Having been advised of the valuation of Playtech's 29% interest, the board has concluded that it is in the best interests of our shareholders to exercise our call option to assume full ownership of this attractive, high growth, high performing business."