CMA grants clearance to GVC, Ladbrokes Coral merger

21 March 2018

The UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has today (Wednesday) given its approval to the proposed merger of GVC Holdings and Ladbrokes Coral Group.

In December 2017, GVC agreed to purchase Ladbrokes Coral in a deal worth up to £4bn (€4.58bn/$5.63bn) and combine the two businesses.

GVC moved a step closer to completing the merger earlier this month when its shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of the deal, which still required clearance from the CMA.

Having carried out an investigation into the proposed merger, the CMA has now ruled that the deal “does not give rise to competition concerns” and has granted approval to the acquisition agreement.

“GVC has a small presence in the UK and only offers services online,” the CMA said in a statement.

“The CMA has found that GVC and Ladbrokes are not close rivals and there are many other providers of betting and gaming services online.

“The CMA looked closely at betting services for individual sports and individual games but found that, in all cases, there will be enough rivals to the merged entity to prevent price increases or a reduced quality of service as a result of the merger.

“The merger will therefore not be referred for an in-depth investigation.”

GVC and Ladbrokes Coral hope to complete the merger before the end of March.

Related articles: GVC shareholders back Ladbrokes Coral acquisition
Ladbrokes Coral agrees £4bn takeover by GVC