Irish and UK bookies to merge

Paddy Power gambles on £1.1bn tie-up with Betfair

Paddy PowerIrish betting group Paddy Power has launched a recommended bid for rival Betfair to create a £1.1 billion turnover group that would be one of the world’s biggest online gaming companies.

The combined company has “compelling strategic logic”, according to a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange.

Under the proposal Paddy Power shareholders would own 52% of the shares of Paddy Power Betfair and would receive a special dividend of €80 million.

Gary McGann, chairman of Paddy Power, would become chairman of the new group and Breon Corcoran, chief executive of Betfair, would hold the same post.

Andy McCue, chief executive of Paddy Power will become chief operating officer and an executive director.  Alex Gersh, chief financial officer of Betfair, takes up the same role at the combined company and also becomes executive director.

The statement says the combined group’s scale and capabilities would leave it better placed to compete in existing and new markets.

Paddy Power has until 5pm on 23 September to announce either a firm intention to make an offer for Betfair.

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