Ladbrokes Coral agree £4bn takeover by online operator GVC

Ladbrokes Coral have agreed to a takeover offer from GVC Holdings, it was announced on Friday morning.

The deal will be worth up to £4 billion, depending on the results of the government's review of FOBTs, with GVC holding around 53.5 per cent of the enlarged group.

GVC chief executive Kenny Alexander said: "The creation of one of the world’s largest listed sportsbetting companies, combining a portfolio of established brands, proven technology and leading market positions in multiple geographies, is a truly exciting prospect.

"In a dynamically evolving industry, the transaction creates an enlarged group with the scale, diversity, proprietary technology and management expertise to pursue many opportunities globally.

"GVC has a proven track record of creating shareholder value through the successful integration of acquired businesses and the GVC board believe this transaction will create further value for our shareholders and those of Ladbrokes Coral."

Kenny Alexander: the GVC chief executive will fill the same role at the enlarged company
Kenny Alexander: the GVC chief executive will fill the same role at the enlarged company
Alexander will be chief executive of the enlarged group with GVC chairman Lee Feldman taking the same role after the deal is completed. Ladbrokes Coral's Paul Bowtell will be chief financial officer while non-executive directors are expected to be drawn from the current GVC board.

Ladbrokes Coral chairman John Kelly added: "In its relatively short time as a merged entity, Ladbrokes Coral has demonstrated why scale can be so effective in this market. The management team have delivered a very successful merger that has created a leading betting and gaming business built on strong brands well positioned in key markets. We have a leading multi-channel offer that utilises our retail and online businesses and offers us a promising future.

"Notwithstanding that, the Ladbrokes Coral board believes that the proposed combination with GVC accelerates our strategy to improve the customer experience, drive faster online growth and build a more diverse and extensive international portfolio of businesses.

"The acquisition has compelling strategic rationale allied to an opportunity to use the best of both from proven management teams and will create material shareholder value. It secures earlier delivery of our long-term value potential, which is why the board of Ladbrokes Coral has unanimously recommended GVC's offer."