Leading firms win in creation of one of Australia’s largest bookmakers

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Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) and Clifford Chance are leading in the creation of one of Australia’s largest gaming and entertainment groups.

G+T is advising The Stars Group on its acquisition of 80% of CrownBet and on CrownBet’s successful bid to acquire William Hill Australia. Clifford Chance is advising William Hill on the sale of its Australian business.

G+T said that the creation of the third-largest bookmaker in the country involved a series of complex transactions.

In the first transaction, which closed last month, a 62% stake in CrownBet was purchased by The Stars Group from CrownResorts for $150m. The Stars Group then increased its stake in CrownBet to 80%. CrownBet then successfully bid to acquire William Hill Australia, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $400m.

The Stars Group will own 80% of the new entity.

The G+T team was led by corporate advisory partners Costas Condoleon and David Josselsohn. They were assisted by senior lawyer Kevin Ko and lawyers Wes Bainbridge, Adrian Zhang, Alexandra Greig, and Jamie Pounch.

From the banking and infrastructure group, support came from partner Gail Christopher, consultants Kate Twomey and Kerry Carew, and lawyer Justin Greer. The firm’s technology and digital team also provided expertise, with special counsel Andrew Hii and lawyer Clare Harris acting. Regulatory lawyers Jeremy Jose and Dylan Gardner; intellectual property lawyers Anna Smyth, Mindaugas Skavronskas, and Michael Cassidy; employment lawyers James Pomeroy and Ian Metz; and real estate and projects lawyers Jo Bayes and graduate Rebecca Smyth were also part of the team.

Clifford Chance’s team is led by partner Lance Sacks. He is supported by counsel Amelia Horvath, associate Marcus Ap, and lawyer James Kwong.

William Hill is a long-standing client of the top firm. The company entered the Australian gaming market in 2013 with the $660m acquisition of Sportingbet, Centrebet, and tomwaterhouse.com. Clifford Chance advised on both the Centrebet and tomwaterhouse.com transactions.


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