William Hill to Open Talks With Playtech Following Tel Aviv Debacle

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(Reuters) - William Hill (WMH.L) is to open talks with Playtech (PTEC.L) this month to try to salvage the companies' joint online venture following a breakdown in relations last year, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Executives from the UK's high street gambling operator and Tel Aviv-based Playtech will meet to discuss whether to end their joint venture or find "a third way", the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the situation.

"It is imperative that all options are explored, including structural changes to the joint venture, something we are not opposed to," Playtech's chief executive Mor Weizman is quoted as saying the article.

William Hill wants strategic control over the fastest-growing division in its business by ending Playtech's veto over acquisitions and obtaining a commitment from the company not to work with high street rivals Ladbrokes (LAD.L), the FT said.

Playtech, which owns 29 percent of William Hill Online, has been the bookmaker's online partner since 2008, when it paid 250 million euros (209 million pounds) for its stake.

The deal allowed Playtech to provide the software for online casino and poker games and the personnel to drive customers to the bookmaker's online operation.

The companies could not be reached for immediate comment.


Business/Financial News

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