Apollo and Caesars Make Takeover Approaches to William Hill

Apollo Global Management Inc. andCaesars Entertainment Inc. have approached U.K. gambling groupWilliam Hill Plc about a potential takeover.

William Hill has received separate cash proposals from the two groups, it said in astatement Friday after Bloomberg News reported on the Apollo approach.

Talks are ongoing and there is no certainty that a formal offer will be made, William Hill said. Shares of the bookmaker rose as much as 41% in London trading on Friday, hitting their highest level in more than two years and giving the company a market value of about 3.1 billion pounds ($3.9 billion).

A representative for Apollo declined to comment.

Apollo has a history of investments in the gambling sector. It teamed up with TPG for a 2008 leveraged buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., which was later renamedCaesars Entertainment. William Hill is a partner of Caesars and the two are indiscussions about merging some of the their U.S. operations. Last year, Apollo alsoacquired a stake in Italy’sGamenet Group SpA.

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