Paddy Power and Betfair shareholders back €8 billion merger

Deal will create one of the world’s biggest gambling groups

Paddy Power  shareholders have backed  a proposed merger between the two companies

Paddy Power shareholders have backed a proposed merger between the two companies

 

Paddy Power and Betfair shareholders have paved the way for the creation of an €8 billion gambling giant by voting for the pair’s planned merger.

The companies plan to merge to create one of the world’s biggest gambling businesses , with €2 billion in revenues and a value of about €8 billion.

Investors representing more than 99 per cent of Paddy Power’s shares backed resolutions proposing the merger at a meeting on Monday.

Shortly afterwards, Betfair shareholders voted by a similar margin at a court and a general meeting to approve the plan.

Paddy Power shareholders will own 52 per cent of the enlarged entity and Betfair’s owners will receive 48 per cent if the deal goes through.

The transaction must win approval from the Republic’s mergers’ watchdog, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, before it can go ahead.

The UK equivalent cleared the proposed merger late last week, raising hopes that the Republic’s commission will follow suit when it reaches the end of its phase one investigation in early 2016.

Betfair chief executive Breon Corcoran will take the helm at the new group and Paddy Power chief executive Andy McCue will become its chief operating officer.

Investor activist group Pensions & Investment Research Consultants is recommending that Betfair’s equity holders vote in favour of the deal.

Both sides hope the transaction to complete at the end of the first quarter of next year.