In the United Kingdom, online gambling firm GVC Holdings has reportedly failed in a second attempt to take over giant bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral Group despite having upped its initial bid by approximately $500 million.
According to a report from the Financial Times newspaper, Isle of Man-headquartered GVC Holdings first tried to purchase Ladbrokes Coral Group in December for about $4.1 billion but was rebuffed. Undaunted, it subsequently launched a second approach that could have valued the London-based sportsbetting firm at just over $4.6 billion.
The newspaper reported that the second takeover attempt failed due to a disagreement over the value of the companies, which was exacerbated by uncertainty surrounding the United Kingdom government’s expected review into the gambling sector. Due to be published in the autumn, it is anticipated that this examination will call for the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals to be lowered from the current $128 to about $2.56, which is a move Barclays estimated could cost Ladbrokes Coral Group as much as $576 million in machine revenues next year.
Ladbrokes Coral Group operates around 3,500 betting shops across the United Kingdom and the takeover approach would have reportedly involved GVC Holdings compensating its target’s shareholders to the tune of around $3.4 billion. However, the proposed deal moreover included a caveat that could have seen up to a further $1.2 billion paid out depending on the outcome of the regulatory review.
The Financial Times reported that consolidation has been a reoccurring theme in the United Kingdom gambling market recently as GVC Holdings outbid 888 Holdings in late-2015 in order to purchase rival Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which operates the Sportingbet brand, for $1.7 billion. Betfair and Paddy Power subsequently joined forces via a $6.5 billion tie-up in February of last year while eight months later saw Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Limited merge with Gala Coral Group Limited to create Ladbrokes Coral Group courtesy of an arrangement worth $3 billion.