Many William Hill Investors Not Liking Amaya Takeover

The plans announced last week by British gambling giant William Hill to merge with Amaya - owners of PokerStars - have already been put in jeopardy by William Hill investors who are, quite naturally, troubled by the prospect of associating and doing business with the troubled Canadian company.

One of William Hills leading investors, the hedge fund Parvus Asset Management which owns almost 15 percent of the company, has written to the William Hill board warning that the shareholder value of William Hill might be destroyed if it merges with Amaya. Strong words, indeed. In the letter, the co-founders of Pavus urged the William Hill board to put a stop to the deal and to stop wasting time and money on it. They asked that the board instead "focus on maximising value for William Hill owners, rather than Amaya shareholders" and suggested that a better option than merging the two companies would be to simply sell William Hill.

One of Parvus's concerns is the fact that Amaya is heavily invested in online poker, something that doesn't appeal to them due to the fact that poker is a game of skill. They can't see how it would be possible to offer games of chance to poker players that are heavily weighted towards the house. They also expressed concern about a lawsuit hanging over Amaya's heads right now regarding infractions by PokerStars in the US. It seems that they'd just as rather stay away from PokerStars and not tarnish their own reputations.

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