William Hill rights issue a success

The British online and land gambling group William Hill plc has reported complete success in its rights issue offer to raise GBP 350 million.

A company spokesman said that over 97 percent of the new shares offered in its rights issue had been snapped up in short order by investors keen to take advantage of a heavily discounted price of 105p as part of a bid to reduce the company's GBP 1.4 billion debt.

In February William Hill confirmed the rights issue as part of a GBP 840 million refinancing that also saw the final dividend scrapped.

William Hill saw a three percent dip in profits for the year to December 30, to GBP 278.6 million .

Executives hope the discounted shares, underwritten by Citigroup, will strengthen the company's financial situation.

The spokesman said the shares, in a certificated form, would be dispatched to shareholders no later than April 16.

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