Coraland Ladbrokes: Merger is to be completed on Tuesday
PICTURE: Jay Vincent
By Bill Barber 7:55PM 31 OCT 2016
TWO of the most famous names in British betting officially join forces on Tuesday when Ladbrokes Coral plc begins trading on the London Stock Exchange, the latest seismic change in the betting industry.
More than 16 months since the Racing Post revealed the two bookmakers were in talks to bring their two businesses together, the £2.3 billion merger will finally complete.
In a short announcement to the stock exchange on Monday evening, Ladbrokes said: “Ladbrokes plc announces it has today changed its name to Ladbrokes Coral Group plc. The merger is expected to complete on November 1, 2016.”
Although the two firms have adopted a strategy which means customers will continue to see and deal with two distinct brands, the merger creates Britain’s biggest betting shop operator.
The company will have more than 3,500 betting shops, meaning they leapfrog William Hill into first place. The deal also means the group will be one of the biggest online players within the UK market.
Analyst Gavin Kelleher of Goodbody said: “It’s a pretty significant entity and it will be the largest retail player in the UK.
“They will be a big player in traditional betting in the UK and will have a decent enough online presence as well under the two brands.”
The merged company is expected to have its headquarters in Stratford, London and will have Ladbrokes chief executive Jim Mullen continuing as group chief executive.
Gala Coral chief executive Carl Leaver is to stay on for a year as executive deputy chairman, while Coral chief operating officer Andy Hornby will continue in the same role for the merged company.
It has been reported that up to 700 jobs could be at risk as a result of the merger.