GVC finally acquires Ladbrokes Coral

29 Mar 2018

Online betting company GVC Holdings and Ladbrokes Coral, UK’s most powerful bookmaker finally agreed on a takeover. The deal that was agreed last December, values up to £4bn (€4.49bn/$5.55bn). From now on, visitors of Ladbrokes Coral’s website are redirected to GVC’s homepage.

Ladbrokes, operating from 1902 and being a founding member of the original FTSE 100, it will now watch its shares being deleted from the London Stock Exchange. 271,816,558 ordinary shares of €0.01 each in the capital of GVC have been created last Friday, according to the new deal.

Kenneth Alexander, GVC chief executive seemed rather optimistic about the new deal: “The creation of one of the world' s largest listed sports betting companies, combining a portfolio of established brands, proven technology and leading market positions in multiple geographies, is a truly exciting prospect”. He highlighted that the takeover will create an enlarged diverse group with cutting edge technological aspect and management expertise ready to chase new global challenges. Large operations have already been agreed in Australia and the United States.

GVS will pass to Ladbrokes32.7p per share, which may touch the 42.8p depending on the government’s decision on FOBT stakes and 0.141 new shares. The new group will have the biggest share of the gambling pie in the UK, Germany and Italy. GVS in exchange will add to its business 3,500 Ladbrokes betting shops. Noel Hamill, former EE (UK mobile telecoms operator) executive will be the Chief Marketing Officer of the enlarged group of businesses.

A few words on GVC

The company was founded as GVC Holdings in Luxemburg in 2004.It is a betting bookmaker, offering its services both in Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) plan. GVC’s group already includes leading operators such us Bwin, Sportingbet, PartyPoker, Foxy Bingo and Foxy Casino.

A few words on Ladbrokes Coral

Ladbrokes Coral is the outcome of another marriage in the betting industry in 2016 when Ladbrokes acquired its rival, Coral. The company is based in London, is leading betting company in the UK and has 25.000 employees. The company was a member of FTSE 250 INDEX till its recent acquisition by GVC.

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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 with providing new technologies and keeping up with the 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 boxes. Nevertheless, there are a couple of areas I would like to see some improvements. First of all, 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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