Ladbrokes Coral in £3.9bn takeover talks

Ladbrokes Coral in £3.9bn takeover talks

Updating the market, a GVC-Ladbrokes-Coral combination is valued at £3.9 billion, with GVC presenting a Combined cash and shares offer - value range from 160.9p - 203.8p per share "dependent on the outcome of triennial review".

Ladbrokes Coral and GVC Holding said that Thursday's announcement does not amount to a firm intention to make an official offer.

GVC Chief Executive Kenneth Alexander is expected to head up the combined group, although this has yet to be finalised and may change over the coming weeks.

"The boards believe that a transaction has the potential to create material shareholder value and that there is a compelling strategic rationale for the possible offer", the two said in the statement.

Ladbrokes has almost 3,700 bookies on the high street, while Isle of Man-based GVC has a raft of brands after a series of acquisitions, most recently snapping up bwin.party in February previous year.

The firms said: "The enlarged group would be an online-led globally positioned betting and gaming business that would benefit from a multi-brand, multi-channel strategy applied across some of the strongest brands in the sector".

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So the deal will give, Ladbrokes' investors access to a globally diversified digital gaming business while GVC can expand onto the United Kingdom high street.

According to the statement, the purchase price would depend on the outcome of the highly-anticipated triennial review into the United Kingdom gambling industry, in which the government is expected to call for a significant reduction in the maximum stake playable in fixed odds betting terminals.

The review is part of a government crackdown on FOTBs after MPs raised concerns the machines were too addictive and fuelled problem gambling.

Last year Paddy Power merged with its digital rival Betfair and Ladbrokes merged with Gala Coral.

The tie-up would put the newly formed group in a strong position in major markets such as the UK, Italy and Australia, it added.

GVC expects the deal to boost earnings from its first full year after completion, even if the Government decides on the biggest possible curbs on gaming machines. If the maximum stake is cut to only £50 from £100, shareholders are set to receive the maximum distribution. GVC shareholders would be entitled to the rest.

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