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GVC To Buy Ladbrokes Coral For $5b
GVC, one of the largest companies in the entire online casino industry, is in the final stages of talks to close a deal with leading land-based gaming operator Ladbrokes Coral worth more than $5b.
The incredible sum of money would see one of the most well-known bookmakers in the UK come under the umbrella of the owner of properties such as Bwin.Party. The overall result would be an online/offline gaming corporation the size of which would almost certainly be without precedent in the history of the industry.
Stock Price Soars
Given the huge nature of the deal, it was not surprising that Ladbrokes’ stock price soared on the news. In just about a day, the company share price increased over 30% — a percentage that was worth more than $40 per share in real cash terms.
The jump was a much needed shot in the arm for the company. Recently, its outlook has been dominated by news that UK regulators are strongly considering cracking down on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT), which is its signature revenue generator.
Anti-FOBT lobbying groups have been vocal in trying to convince UK legislators to reduce the amount of money punters can wager by as much as 98%. Should such draconian measures come into force, the hit to Ladbrokes’ revenues would be huge.
FOBT’s To Influence Final Price
Presumably, investors like the idea of Ladbrokes potentially being able to weather any storm beneath the umbrella of GVC’s other assets. However, that fact still wasn’t strong enough to overcome the FOBT issue completely.
Reports indicate that the $5b figure currently being floated is contingent upon how UK regulators ultimately decide to regulate FOBTs. Should the profitability of the machines be severely impacted, there is no doubt that GVC will change the size of its offer.
However, there is little speculation as to what figure would ultimately be decided upon.