GVC closes in on Ladbrokes Coral takeover at third attempt

Bitcoin has soared 33pc this week

Bitcoin has soared 33pc this week

Based on a closing GVC price overnight of 911.5p and 135.65p for Ladbrokes, the offer would values Ladbrokes Coral at £3.1bn or 160.9p per share, with the CVR of up to 42.8p per share potentially taking the total value up to £3.9bn.

Ladbrokes Coral is in "detailed" talks over a takeover by online gambling rival and Foxy Bingo owner GVC in a deal worth up to £3.9bn. GVC shareholders would be entitled to the rest.

Shares in Ladbrokes Coral surged by 25% to 170p in early trading in London on Thursday.

"Whilst this deal was always likely, most had thought GVC would wait until the government's triennial review of fixed odds betting terminals was finished before it would happen".

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".

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.

In addition, the companies have agreed that should the deal go through, Kenneth Alexander, now chief executive of GVC, would take on the same role at the enlarged group.

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.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said when it announced the consultation in October that it would cut the maximum stake on the machines, at present £100 every 20 seconds, but has yet to decide on the final level, saying that it would be somewhere between £2...

The proposed takeover would give it access to the Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala brands and the combined company would compete with William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair.

In November, GVC sold its Turkish business for up to €150mln to Ropso Maltato to pave the way for potential merger with Ladbrokes Coral.

"GVC's recent move to exit Turkey cleared the last barrier and LCL shareholders should be pleased to see the firm is now better insulated against the vagaries of the United Kingdom market", said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

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