All bets off over William Hill merger with Amaya

File photo dated 18/09/16 of a William Hill sign outside a shop, as William Hill and Canadian poker firm Amaya have called time on talks over a potential �4.6 billion merger, following feedback from shareholders. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 18, 2016. Earlier this month the gambling giants said discussions were under way for a "merger of equals" which would create one of the world's biggest online gambling firms. See PA story CITY WilliamHill. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

File photo dated 18/09/16 of a William Hill sign outside a shop, as William Hill and Canadian poker firm Amaya have called time on talks over a potential �4.6 billion merger, following feedback from shareholders. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 18, 2016. Earlier this month the gambling giants said discussions were under way for a "merger of equals" which would create one of the world's biggest online gambling firms. See PA story CITY WilliamHill. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

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William Hill and Canadian poker firm Amaya have called time on talks over a potential £4.6 billion merger, following feedback from shareholders.

Earlier this month the gambling giants said discussions were under way for a “merger of equals” which would create one of the world’s biggest online gambling firms.

But today William Hill said: “Various exploratory due diligence and other workstreams were under way but far from complete. After canvassing views from a number of William Hill’s major shareholders, the board has decided that it will not pursue discussions with Amaya.”

The deal was opposed by Parvus Asset Management, William Hill’s largest shareholder.

Amaya owns the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands and the aborted deal comes months after Mecca Bingo operator Rank Group pulled out of a joint bid with 888 for William Hill.

The gambling sector has seen growing consolidation over the past year, with Paddy Power and Betfair joining hands and Coral and Ladbrokes inking a £2 billion merger.

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