The long mooted takeover of the Ladbrokes Coral Group by GVC Holdings has finally reached completion, in a deal that could eventually be worth up to £4bn, just days after the High Court of England and Wales sanctioned the deal.
With its shares now delisted from the London stock exchange, as part of the agreement the admission of 271,816,558 ordinary shares of €0.01 each in the capital of GVC has today (Thursday 29 March) taken place.
In a deal widely labelled as “bold and ambitious,” those close to the negotiating table have consistently stated the enlarged organisation would create “a fast-growing, diversified, international online and retail sports betting led gaming group,” and “the outright UK gambling market leader”.
Accessing the Ladbrokes Coral corporate website now redirects users to its GVC counterpart, with the message “Following completion of the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral Group plc on 28th March 2018 by GVC Holdings plc, all future updates will appear on the GVC website http://www.gvc-plc.com/.
Discussing the deal as his firm released its FY2017 results, GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander stated: “The importance of geographic diversification is a key dynamic given the evolving regulatory backdrop.
“Thus the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral Group represents an exciting opportunity, bringing together industry-leading online and retail brands. There will be plenty of hard work ahead, but we are confident that GVC will deliver once again.”
It hasn’t all been plain sailing with regards to this acquisition though, with it being reported in mid 2017 that a GVC bid, which valued the ladbrokes Coral assets at around £2.7bn, with a proposed incentive of 50p per share pricing its bid at £3.6 billion, had failed.
In early December of last year “detailed discussions” were believed to be taking place, and an agreement was reached during the festive period, containing a contingency entitlement based on the government review into Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) maximum stakes.
An initial bid of £3.2bn, representing a government judgement of a £2 maximum spin, could potentially rise to £4bn, should that FOBT figure be £50.
Both the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and High Court have approved the takeover in recent days, whilst it has also been reported that ex-EE Managing Director Noel Hamill has joined Ladbrokes Coral as the firm’s new Group Chief Marketing Officer.