Just read the article. I can't see the William Hill shop chain being an attractive target for any of the three existing operators with a major high street presence - Betfred,PaddyPower,Ladbrokes - because there would be too many places where they already have betting shops close to the William Hill shops. So then they'd have to either sell the shops as betting shops - they might struggle to find buyers - or sell them to non-gambling operators,which would leave them open to accusations of restricting competition.Also, those three operators expanded their chains before the restrictions on gambling machines when betting shops were more profitable,so they have more than enough shops already.
"Online player 888 is said to be close to acquiring bookmaker William Hill's European operations in a £2 billion takeover, according to The Times.
The paper reports that 888 is in "advanced discussions" with Caesars Entertainment, which bought William Hill's US business for £2.9bn last year.
Both firms are based in Gibraltar, with 888 outbidding competitors Betfred, Apollo Global Management and Germany's Tipico after being viewed as an 'outsider.' However, in a statement, the firm cautioned that there was no certainty of a deal.
Analyists are now weighing up what will happen to William Hill’s 1,400 betting shops with Betfred, also based in Gibraltar, believed to have made its interest clear.
In the meantime, experts suggest the deal will transform 888's scale and earnings profile. The group, floated on the London stock-exchange in 2005, and offers online casino games, poker, bingo and sports betting."