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Bookies in takeover talks

Odds shorten on £3.9bn Ladbrokes Coral deal

Good bet: the odds have shortened on a sale

Ladbrokes Coral could succumb to a takeover just a year after the two high street bookmakers merged.

The group is in talks with online rival GVC over a deal which could value it at up to £3.9 billion.

Under the proposals, GVC – which owns the Bwin and Sporting Bet brands – would hold 53.5% of the combined group.

The maximum price GVC will pay will depend on the outcome of the government’s review of gaming machines.

Amid concerns over gambling addictions, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport wants to put a cap on fixed-odds betting terminals.

GVC and Ladbrokes Coral said that the review could impact on the profitability of Ladbrokes Coral’s UK business.

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