Dec 7, 2017

GVC looks to clear final Ladbrokes Coral hurdles

The chief executive of GVC, the online betting company, has led two previous approaches for Ladbrokes Coral, the UK bookmaker, over the past year. The previous attempts to bring together GVC and Ladbrokes stumbled because of uncertainty around the government's review on fixed-odds betting terminals - in-store machines that have been dubbed by critics as the "Crack cocaine" of gambling but are the largest source of revenues for some bookmakers, including Ladbrokes Coral. To deal with the uncertainty, GVC has proposed what Mr Alexander describes as a "Clever" solution - a sliding scale that will change the final acquisition price according to how hard Ladbrokes Coral is hit by the FOBT curbs. GVC has valued Ladbrokes Coral at £3.1bn at a minimum, but the final price could move up to £3.9bn. The deal structure is intended to reassure Ladbrokes Coral shareholders that they are getting a good price regardless of the impact of the new regulations. The companies said a combination would help GVC expand in the UK and Australia, two of the world's largest regulated gambling markets, while Ladbrokes Coral would gain greater expertise in internet gambling.

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