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High Court gives green light on Ladbrokes Coral’s takeover by GVC

28 Mar 2018

Ladbrokes CoralUK's High Court approval of the £4bn (€4.49bn/$5.55bn) deal between GVC and Ladbrokes Coral has taken place. As a result the merge is well on its way towards going into full effect shortly, as it has already been accepted by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) and shareholders of the two entities involved. GVC announced an official calendar earlier in the year with all milestones regarding the merge. Following up on that it informed shareholders that they are well within the suggested timeframe they had set back in February.

Shares are bound to be delisted from London's Stock Exchange. Specifically, 273 million €0.01 GVC shares are up for trading, according to the application submitted by the company. According to the terms of the deal Ladbrokes Coral shareholders will get 0.141 new GVC shares for 32.7p per share. However, there is room for an increased price per share of up to 42.8p, but that's going to be determined by the government's decision on FOBT stakes. If the government goes forward with a resolution that's advantageous to FOBT operators, the deal might go all the way up to £4bn and beyond.

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With over 100 years of experience, Ladbrokes is one of the most familiar betting brands in the UK. It is one of the few companies that has moved to racecourse management by acquiring Lingfield Park in 1975 and one of the few that offers both fixed odds and betting exchange. It has managed to retain a top spot by combining the advantages of being an established High Street bookie, providing new technologies and keeping up with gamification trends. The sportsbook has proven its innovative spirit with the addition of features like the unique 5-A-Side service. In terms of safety and stability, Ladbrokes ticks all the boxes. Nevertheless, I would like to see some improvement in a couple of areas. First, the payout is below par even for the top sports like football and tennis. I would expect a bookmaker of this caliber to offer higher odds to players. Also, like other Entain brands, they tend to limit winning players quite fast. Finally, I would like to see them reopen to more countries in the near future. All in all, Ladbrokes guarantees an action-packed environment, no matter which sport you want to bet.

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