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Caesars in talks to offer $3.7B cash offer for William Hill

Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick joins The First Trade with Alexis Christoforous to discuss what investors are keeping an eye on in early trading, in addition to Caesar's offer to acquire the betting company William Hill.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Taking a look at the markets again, we've got a really nice rally going on in the Futures market. We know that the market had its fourth consecutive week of losses last week, although it did rally on Friday. Looks like we're trying to extend that rally this morning. Want to bring in Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick who's watching this early morning action. So, Emily, what's sending us higher? I guess it's the tech stocks moving us higher this morning.

EMILY MCCORMICK: That's right, Alexis. Taking a look at those big tech names, we have shares with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, even those chip makers including Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, and Micron Technology really sending the three major indices higher here in early trading.

Now remember that at the end of last week, we had both the S&P 500 and Dow clinching a fourth straight weekly loss, so we were seeing those three major indices under pressure for virtually all of September. We did have the NASDAQ eke out a mild weekly gain at the end of last week so we did see a bit of those tech stocks rebounding.

And I also want to point out that this morning we are also seeing those reopening stock. So those are names like Carnival Cruise lines, Norwegian cruise line holdings, American airlines and the other airlines, as well as Boeing also posting gains in the early session. This of course, coming as we do have house Democrats working towards unveiling terms of a more than two trillion dollar plan here for more Coronavirus fiscal stimulus. So, hopes of further stimulus are helping the rally this morning.

We also have incrementally more positive news on the economic data front out of China. We saw industrial production actually rising for a fourth straight month there, so seeing some incrementally more positive news here this morning, Alexis, and helping send the three major indices higher.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: I also have a big deal we have to talk about, Caesars Entertainment announced it's in talks to offer $3.7 billion in cash for the betting company William Hill. What else do you know about this potential deal?

EMILY MCCORMICK: Absolutely, Alexis. So taking a look at this, this would be a major bet on the sports betting industry here for Caesars Entertainment. Note that it does already have a partnership with William Hill. The company stands to gain an incrementally larger market share in Nevada, specifically William Hill has reported an about 30% share of the gambling industry here in Nevada. So, potentially something to help broaden out Caesar's foothold in that market specifically and in sports betting.

Now, I want to point out some of the terms of this deal. So, Caesars Entertainment in advanced talks here for an offer of 2.9 billion pounds or $3.7 billion in cash for the UK based betting company. Now, this deal would involve an offer of 272 Pence for each share of William Hill. That stock closed on the London Stock Exchange up more than 43% on Friday on reports of a takeover. And this deal, again, would give Caesar control of this US joint venture.

Now, Caesars isn't the only company that has expressed interest here, we also have the private equity firm Apollo as saying that it would be interested as well in William Hill. Again, really a testament here to the opportunity in the sports gambling space as a whole.

Just to speak again a bit more to the potential here, want to highlight a couple of stats from the American Gaming Association. And one of the things that they've highlighted in recent reports is that sports betting has done considerably better than traditional forms of gambling for the year to date, even with the pandemic taking out new live sports events for much of the past year.

Now, we had sports betting revenue up about 19% for the year to date through July. If we take a look at slot machine revenue and table gambling revenue, each of those were down more than 40% for the same period. And now while those are still larger on an absolute dollar basis than sports gambling, they're in the billions of dollars rather than the tens of millions, really speaks here to the growth opportunity in sports betting and that's really what this takeover bid is potentially going to be showing as well, Alexis.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, Emily, thanks for that.