In a message to the stock market, Ladbrokes’ board said that it ‘noted’ Desmond’s letter and acknowledged that it had had ‘significant dealings’ with him as both a shareholder and a commercial partner over recent times, including the Ladbrokes acquisition of Betdaq and Chronicle Bookmakers.
However it said that the merger with Coral has ‘compelling strategic rationale and benefits’ adding: “The Board remains confident that shareholders will see the attraction of the proposed merger and continues to work towards a successful conclusion to the proposed transaction.”
Ladbrokes said that the partnership would see:
- The potential to deliver faster online growth
- The creation of the UK’s largest LBO estate
- The creation of an extensive international portfolio of regulated businesses
- The delivery of significant cost synergies underpinning shareholder returns
- The ability to operate across an enhanced and integrated technology platform
The Directors reiterate their recommendation to shareholders to vote in favour of the Resolutions to be proposed at the General Meeting to be held on 24 November 2015.