US activist investor wages £115m on stake in William Hill, fuelling speculation that it could push for sale of bookmaker

in Finance

A US activist investor has wagered £115million on a stake in William Hill, fuelling speculation that it could push for a sale of the British bookmaker. 

HG Vora Capital Management, a New York hedge fund founded by Parag Vora, has built a 5.1 per cent stake in the FTSE250 company. 

The swoop stoked speculation that HG Vora could push for a sale of William Hill, having done the same at other US casino groups.

In 2018, HG Vora took a 5 per cent stake in Caesars Entertainment, the casino group behind Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and pushed for the company to explore options including a sale. Less than a year later, it was sold to Eldorado Resorts for £13.6billion.

The enlarged company – renamed Caesars Entertainment – is William Hill's US partner. 

News of the stake emerged on the day it was revealed that William Hill's sports betting apps and odds would feature on US cable giant ESPN after it struck a deal with Caesars. 

HG Vora previously invested in both Penn National Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment before they agreed to merge. 

UK gambling firms have sought to cash in on a gold rush in the US after it began to legalise sports betting in 2018. So far nearly 20 states have given it the green light. 

HG Vora has a 10 per cent stake in Gamesys, the UK-listed owner of Jackpotjoy and other online gambling brands. 

HG Vora did not respond to requests for comment. 

William Hill declined to comment.