888 Jumps After Confirming Takeover Approach by William Hill

Online gambling company 888 Holdings Plc said it received an approach from William Hill Plc about a possible takeover, boosting shares by 18 percent.

There is no certainty that a formal offer will be made for 888, the company said in a statement to the London stock exchange Tuesday. No financial details were disclosed.

Shares in 888, which operates casino, poker and bingo websites, rose 26.5 pence to 171.5 pence at the close of trading in London, valuing the company at about 608 million pounds ($928 million). William Hill fell 3 percent to 377.4 pence.

British bookmakers are facing increased regulation and seeking growth online and abroad after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced higher duty on in-store gaming machines in last year’s annual budget statement. William Hill acquired Australian online betting firm Tom Waterhouse in 2013 for about $38 million.

William Hill is working with Citigroup Inc. as it evaluates a possible offer, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. 888 is advised by Investec Bank Plc and Morgan Stanley. Representatives for William Hill didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.