Ladbrokes finalises merger with Coral

1 November 2016

Ladbrokes has completed its merger with Gala Coral, confirming that the new combined entity will now be known as the Ladbrokes Coral Group.

The company will be worth approximately £2.3 billion (€2.6 billion/$2.8 billion), and will include a number of Gala Coral businesses, such as Coral Retail, Eurobet Retail and the bookmaker’s online businesses.

Last week, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave final approval to the merger after agreeing to the sale of 360 shops by the bookmakers to rival operators Betfred and Stan James.

The CMA earlier requested Ladbrokes and Coral sell off between 350 and 400 shops to alleviate competition concerns in locations across the UK, should the merger go through.

Following this approval, Ladbrokes published a prospectus “in relation to the readmission of the combined group to the premium listing segment of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange”.

John Kelly, who will serve as chairman of the combined group, said: “In uniting these two businesses we are bringing together some of the best known and admired brands in betting and gaming.

“We believe that no other gambling business has such a strong heritage, with brands that enjoy such broad appeal and a presence that is woven into the fabric of the UK culture as well as overseas regulated markets.

“Together, we have the opportunity to grow the business building on our scale, the digital opportunity we have in our markets, our international presence and through delivery of significant synergy savings.

“We have a strong management team in place and are already well placed to set about the creation of a new business with a clear focus on delivering the opportunities the completion of the merger offers us.”

Jim Mullen, chief executive of Ladbrokes Coral, said: “This is a historic day for the company and one which marks the start of an exciting journey for the business; both Ladbrokes and Gala Coral have demonstrated their ability to compete hard and win in increasingly competitive markets.”

Carl Leaver, executive deputy chairman of the group, added: “Our merger with Ladbrokes brings new and exciting opportunities for both companies and, under the leadership of Jim Mullen, we are now in a position to make our ambition of creating the UK's leading betting and gaming business a reality.”

Related article: CMA gives final approval to Ladbrokes-Gala Coral merger