UK CMA approves Ladbrokes-Coral merger

By Dhanum Nursigadoo
The Ladbrokes Coral merger has been given final approval by the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), finalising the £2.3 billion deal first announced June 2015 that has taken 18 months to complete.

In its final review of the merger, the CMA has approved the operators’ sale of 322 betting shops to Betfred and 37 to Stan James for £55.5 million.

The CMA review of the Ladbrokes-Coral merger has been ongoing since December 2015, focusing on a market competition study that the companies’ combined retail portfolio would “reduce consumer choice in a number of local areas” and has subsequently forced the operators to sell a combined 359 retail outlets.

Ladbrokes and Coral governance will publish a combined corporate prospectus detailing the entry of its joint entry on the London Stock Exchange as a single entity.

The new business seeks to register a premium listing on the LSE granted by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen will remain as leader of the new entity and Coral CEO Carl Leaver will take the position of Executive Deputy Chairman for 12 months, charged with delivery of corporate synergies between the newly combined companies.

Speaking on the news of the merger, Mullen commented: “I am delighted that the CMA has given approval to our merger with Coral. Both businesses are approaching the merger with good momentum and we are now focusing on completing the merger and delivering on the opportunities it offers.”


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