GVC and Ladbrokes Coral agree takeover price

GVC Holdings has reached agreement with Ladbrokes Coral regarding its takeover of the firm, with Ladbrokes Coral accepting an offer that valued the company at between £3.2bn and £4bn.

Kenny Alexander

Kenny Alexander, chief-executive of GVC, has played a large role in the takeover. © The Telegraph.

The final valuation will depend on the potential upcoming restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) that are likely to be introduced after government consultation on the industry is finalised, with the level of restrictions ultimately dependent on the government’s decision.

Ladbrokes Coral shareholders should receive 32.7p in cash, along with 0.141 ordinary shares in GVC and a contingent entitlement of up to 42.8p.

The deal will see GVC shareholders with the majority of the share capital with approximately 53.5% and Ladbrokes Coral shareholders holding approximately 46.5% of share capital upon completion.

GVC has grown quickly in recent years thanks to a number of takeovers, such as Bwin, although the brand also owns a number of other well-known operators, such as Sportingbet, Partypoker, and Foxy Bingo.

Meanwhile, Ladbrokes Coral has in recent years become perhaps the UK’s largest highstreet bookmaker, with around 3,500 outlets and over 25,000 employees.

Speaking about the acquisition, GVC CEO Kenny Alexander, said:

In a dynamically evolving industry, the transaction creates an enlarged group with the scale, diversity, proprietary technology and management expertise to pursue many opportunities globally. GVC has a proven track record of creating shareholder value through the successful integration of acquired businesses and the GVC Board believe this transaction will create further value for our shareholders and those of Ladbrokes Coral.Kenny Alexander, GVC CEO

It was only just over a year ago that Ladbrokes and Coral merged into one entity, creating a powerhouse of UK sports betting. GVC’s acquisition of the group will harness that strength and create a leading global multi-brand business, with revenues estimated to be around £3.3bn.

Ladbrokes Coral chairman, John Kelly, had this to say about the deal:

The Ladbrokes Coral Board believes that the proposed combination with GVC accelerates our strategy to improve the customer experience, drive faster online growth and build a more diverse and extensive international portfolio of businesses. The acquisition has compelling strategic rationale allied to an opportunity to use the best of both from proven management teams and will create material shareholder value. It secures earlier delivery of our long-term value potential, which is why the Board of Ladbrokes Coral has unanimously recommended GVC’s offer.John Kelly, Ladbrokes Coral chairman

The talks have been going on for sometime now and has been well covered in the media and industry. GVC’s share price rose by around 1.8% following the news that a bid had been accepted. The deal is expected to be completed in late Q1 or early Q2 2018.

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