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Ladbrokes and Gala Coral hold talks over merger

Oper

Ladbrokes
ators Ladbrokes and Gala Coral have both confirmed that the two companies have held discussions over a potential merger.

The merger would be between Ladbrokes and Coral Retail, Eurobet Retail and Gala Coral’s online businesses (Coral Group).

Both companies outlined that there can be no certainty that an agreement regarding the merger will be reached.

Gala Coral said: “The company and its shareholders are evaluating all strategic options, including a possible initial public offering.”

Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen, who replaced Richard Glynn in April, said: “Since becoming CEO my focus has been on a more aggressive plan to build digital scale and grow our recreational customer base across all channels, which is key to creating a more sustainable and growing Ladbrokes.

“My plans are well advanced and I look forward to presenting them to shareholders.

“The board has not yet concluded whether a transaction is strategically attractive and can be delivered to shareholders on appropriate terms.”

Ladbrokes is scheduled to hold a Business Review presentation next Tuesday, which could be re-scheduled, depending on how discussions progress.

Ladbrokes reported a 44% pre-tax profit decrease for the full year 2014, down to £37.7m.

Gala Coral’s net revenue went up 5% year-on-year to £684.8m for the 28 weeks ended 11 April.

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