Ladbrokes Coral in talks over takeover by GVC

Ladbrokes Coral and GVC are back in

Should GVC go ahead with the offer, Ladbrokes Coral shareholders would receive 32.7p in cash and 0.141 ordinary GVC shares for each share, as well as a potential further value of up to 42.8p structured as a contingent value right.

The fast-growing online betting group GVC is back in talks with Ladbrokes Coral about a takeover worth up to £3.9 billion.

Terms of the offer mean that Ladbrokes Coral shareholders would hold 46.5% of the combined business, with GVC shareholders to other 53.5%.

Shares in Ladbrokes soared 28% to 174.2p in early trading on Thursday, while GVC climbed 8% to 979p. On Thursday they said GVC had made a non-binding cash and shares offer to Ladbrokes, with the final price determined by the outcome of the government's review into gambling machines in United Kingdom betting shops, which could hit profits at the target company.

Both sides have agreed GVC's chief executive Kenneth Alexander would take charge of the combined group.

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A joint statement said: "The enlarged group would be an online-led globally positioned betting and gaming business that would benefit from a multi-brand, multi-channel strategy applied across some of the strongest brands in the sector".

The transaction will also enhance the enlarged group's position in a number of the world's largest regulated iGaming markets including the UK, Italy and Australia, significantly increasing GVC's current share of revenues from locally regulated or taxed markets to more than 90 per cent.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said when it announced the consultation in October that it would cut the maximum stake on the machines, at present £100 every 20 seconds, but has yet to decide on the final level, saying that it would be somewhere between £2...

It is the latest move in a wave of mergers and takeovers in the gaming and betting industry and comes just a year after Ladbrokes (Amsterdam: LB6.AS - news) and Gala Coral completed a tie-up to form Ladbrokes Coral. Turkey had presented a roadblock in GVC's quest to buy Ladbrokes Coral since it is an unregulated market and vulnerable to sudden clampdowns.

"GVC got lucky at the third attempt and LCL shareholders can count their winnings", said analyst Neil Wilson at ETX Capital.

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