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William Hill acquired Tom Waterhouse’s online business

UK bookmaker William Hill has confirmed a deal to acquire businessman Tom Australian online betting business for A$34 million (€23.3 million/$31.2 million).

Waterhouse will remain managing director of the business, and William Hill could end up paying up to A$70 million more under an earn-out agreement, subject to the performance of the business through to the end of 2015.

William Hill said that the takeover, following the UK company’s acquisition of Sportingbet’s Australian business for A$670 million in March, was part of a strategy to establish Australia as its “second home market”.

The website, alongside Sportingbet and Centrebet, will become part of William Hill Australia, led by the regional company’s chief executive officer, Michael Sullivan.

'International expansion is a key part of William Hill’s growth strategy and making Australia our second home is our priority,' William Hill chief executive officer Ralph Topping said.

'The Sportingbet acquisition gave us a strong and proven platform with an experienced management team. Acquiring gives us a rapidly growing business that appeals to a wider customer base.

'I’m impressed by Tom Waterhouse and his team, who are passionate and entrepreneurial. They’ve built a good business in a short period of time and have achieved strong growth momentum.

'This deal brings them real benefits around scale, product and technology. I’m sure my lifetime of experience in bookmaking and Michael Sullivan’s – together amounting to more than 70 years – will also be valuable to Tom.

'What we all share is a vision of making William Hill Australia the number one online bookmaker in Australia by bringing customers the very best online and mobile betting experience.'