GVC Holdings eyes £3.9bn takeover deal for Ladbrokes Coral

By Johan De Mulder

GVC Holdings is keen to tighten its grip on the online betting market with a £3.9bn deal to acquire Ladbrokes Coral.

Already the owner of a number of popular gambling sites such as Partypoker, Sportingbet and Foxy Bingo, GVC is now targeting a strategic merger with Ladbrokes Coral, it confirmed on Thursday.

While capturing online audience has been cited as the primary reason for the deal, GVC would also take over responsibilty for 3,500 betting shops on the United Kingdom's high street.

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Ladbrokes and Coral merged in a £2.3bn transaction in November 2016 and the single entity, which also owns the likes of Gala Casino and Eurobet, is the UK's biggest high-street betting company.

In its statement, GVC 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.

"It would be geographically diversified with a large portfolio of businesses across both regulated and developing markets, with the scale and resources to address the dynamics of a rapidly changing global industry.

"Any transaction would also enhance the enlarged group's position in a number of the world's largest regulated online gaming markets, including the UK, Italy and Australia."

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