After 18 months of negotiation, the UK companies finally completed the merger that will reunite them under the name Ladbrokes Coral Plc.
UK.- Ladbrokes Coral Plc, valued in £2.3 billion, will become the UK’s biggest retail bookmaker with a combined portfolio and more than 3500 betting shops. Ladbrokes confirmed earlier today the official merger completion: “Ladbrokes plc announces it has today changed its name to Ladbrokes Coral Group plc.”
The company received approval from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last week. Following the merger, the company’s share price increased in the first morning of trading. John Kelly, Ladbrokes Coral Chairman, said: “In uniting these two businesses we are bringing together some of the best known and admired brands in betting and gaming. We believe that no other gambling business has such a strong heritage, with brands that enjoy such broad appeal and a presence that is woven into the fabric of the UK culture as well as overseas regulated markets.”
Kelly said that they have a strong management team in place and that they’re already well placed to set about the creation of a new business with a clear focus on delivering the opportunities the completion of the merger offers them. The new CEO will be Jim Mullen, who’s set to work on the group synergy and cost saving strategy: the new company would target in short term cost synergies between £60-70.
In October, the bookmakers moved a step closer to the merger after agreeing to sell 359 betting shops, a tenth of their combined network, to smaller rivals. The deal established that Ladbrokes and Coral agreed to sell the shops to Betfred and Stan James for £55.5 million.