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GVC and Ladbrokes edge closer to merger deal

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ling giants GVC Holdings and Ladbrokes Coral are reported to be finalising a multi-billion pound deal before the end of this month.

It is expected that as soon as the government-commissioned review of the gambling sector in the UK is released, both companies will go ahead with the significant merger. The Financial Times also details that Ladbrokes Coral and GVC, which already attempted to close a similar deal in the past, have agreed on the shape of a new executive team and board of directors.

“After the review, it won’t be the commencement of talks, it will be the continuation of them,” David Jennings, Head of Leisure Research at Davy, the Irish wealth managers, has told the Financial Times, referring to the UK's triennial review due this month.

Earlier this summer, the world’s biggest betting companies started discussions, with GVC offering up to $4.7bn. However, negotiations collapsed when GVC Chief Exceutive Kenny Alexander said he will not consider any deal until the outcome of the review is published.

Speaking to the newspaper, four people close to the Ladbrokes and GVC talks confirmed that both firms are discussing the new management structure. Under the terms of the new deal, Alexander would assume the leadership role while Ladbrokes Coral current Chief Executive Jim Mullen would leave. Moreover, Ladbrokes Coral’s Chief Operating Officer Andy Hornby would take the same position at the new entity, and GVC’s Finance head Paul Miles would assume a deputy role under Ladbrokes Coral’s Chief Financial Officer Paul Bowtell.

Consequently, this merger might shake up the entire gambling industry in the UK. Rivals William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair, The Stars Group, 888 Holdings, Rank Group and Jackpotjoy may well be planning their next moves to keep the pace with the potential gaming conglomerate.

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