Ladbrokes-Coral Merger Officially Approved by UK CMA
The merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral has officially been given final approval by the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).
The £2.3 billion deal has taken 18 months to complete since the original announcement for the merger in June 2015. In the final review, the CMA approved the operators’ sale of 322 betting shops to Betfred and 37 to Stan James for £55.5 million.
The Ladbrokes-Coral merger has been under review by the CMA since December 2015, with focus on a market competition study that the operators’ combined retail portfolio would “reduce consumer choice in a number of local areas”, and has subsequently forced the companies to sell 359 retail outlets combined.
Ladbrokes and Coral governance will publish a combined corporate prospectus detailing its joint entry as a single entity on the London Stock Exchange.
The new business seeks to register a premium listing on the LSE granted by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Jim Mullen, CEO of Ladbrokes, will remain leader of the new entity, and Coral CEO Carl Leaver will take on the role of Executive Deputy Chairman for 12 months, charged with delivery of corporate synergies between the newly combined companies.
Commenting on the news of the merger, Mullen said: “I am delighted that the CMA has given approval to our merger with Coral. Both businesses are approaching the merger with good momentum and we are now focusing on completing the merger and delivering on the opportunities it offers.”
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