Ladbrokes and Gala Coral confirmed in separate statements late yesterday (Monday) evening that they are in talks over a possible merger.
The two parties said that the proposed deal would involve Ladbrokes and Gala Coral-operated Coral Retail, Eurobet Retail and the company’s online businesses.
The Financial Times newspaper reported that the talks are not at an advanced stage and there remain issues over the price and the corporate structure of the merged operation, although Ladbrokes chief executive officer Jim Mullen would lead the combined group.
Ladbrokes said that the proposed new group would seek a listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and could offer new shares to boost the balance sheet.
“Since becoming CEO my focus has been on a more aggressive plan to build digital scale and grow our recreational customer base across all channels, which is key to creating a more sustainable and growing Ladbrokes,” Mullen, who took over as Ladbrokes CEO in March, said.
“My plans are well advanced and I look forward to presenting them to shareholders. A merger with Gala Coral could create a combined business with significant scale and has the potential to generate substantial cost synergies, creating value for both companies’ shareholders.