Ladbrokes Coral gains on rumours of takeover bid from GVC

Potential reverse acquisition could value betting group at about £3.2 billion

Online betting specialist GVC  rumoured to have worked on  potential reverse takeover that could value the group at a premium of about 30 per cent.   Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Online betting specialist GVC rumoured to have worked on potential reverse takeover that could value the group at a premium of about 30 per cent. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Ladbrokes Coral gained yesterday amid renewed rumours that the bookmaker was a takeover target. GVC, the online betting specialist, was rumoured to have worked on a potential reverse takeover that could value the group at about £3.2 billion, a premium of about 30 per cent. GVC and Ladbrokes declined to comment.

Advisers to GVC were said to have put together an ambitious proposal similar to last year’s £1.1 billion takeover of Bwin, which was paid for mostly in shares. However, discussions between the companies might have collapsed, people familiar with the sector said.

The latest twist on consolidation talk comes after William Hill reportedly floated the idea of buying GVC during unsuccessful talks to poach its chief executive, Kenny Alexander.

Ladbrokes closed 5.7 per cent higher at 130.6p on about twice the average daily volume. Since a two-year high in August, it has slipped 20 per cent on concerns about possible tighter regulation of betting terminals and problems integrating its merger with Gala Coral, completed in November.

GVC closed 0.9 per cent higher at 635p, which gave the Isle of Man-based group a market value of £1.9 billion. – Copyright Financial Times Service 2016