News of a potential reverse takeover of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC Holdings broke as we welcomed in the weekend, but the shock move looks unlikely to happen as talks have, according to the Financial Times, broken down.
Rumours circulated about a possible £3.2 billion reverse takeover of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC Holdings, which would see GVC pay a premium of approximately 30% for the gambling entity that only merged in November 2016.
Shares in Ladbrokes climbed by 5.7% by the close of business on Friday, but ended 5.2% down on Monday following a report in the Financial Times revealing takeover talks had broken down.
The takeover talks came out of the blue because GVC recently, in February 2016, completed its £1.1 billion reverse takeover of bwin.party digital plc and is still undergoing a restructuring, while Ladbrokes Coral only completed its £2.3 billion merger in November 2016.
In related news, it is believed that gambling giant William Hill were considering buying GVC after it was unsuccessful in poaching its chief executive, Kenny Alexander, who was seen as the perfect replacement for former CEO James Henderson who stepped down from his role in July 2016.
Also, according to the financial website This Is Money, Ladbrokes Coral could be set to make a multi-billion pound bid for Tabcorp, Australia’s largest betting company. Tabcorp has a market value of approximately £2.3 billion and is one of the top 100 companies on Australia’s stock exchange. Should this deal go through, it would create one of the largest gambling companies on the planet.
Consolidation of the UK Gambling Sector to Continue
With British gambling companies facing tighter regulation and increased taxation, consolidation of the industry is likely to continue. GVC and bwin.party, Ladbrokes and Gala Coral, and Betfair and Paddy Power are just three of the major deals completed in recent month, while the William Hill has been a subject of a joint bid from 888 Holdings and Rank Group and was involved in preliminary talks about merging with Amaya last month.