Following extensive negotiations between leading betting firms Ladbrokes and Gala Coral a merger between both sides has been officially agreed to by both firms.
In terms of the deal a betting firm worth an amount of £2.3 billion will be formed to become the largest combined online and retail betting firm in the United Kingdom. The name of the new company will be Ladbrokes Coral and according to reports the company will have revenues of £2.1 billion, with £392 million in earnings.
Ladbrokes Coral will be listed on the London stock exchange, with both brands set to stay on the high street.
The move will also see Andy Hornby, the former boss of failed bank HBOS, being given a senior role in the new business.
The combined group consists of nearly 4,000 betting shops and 30,000 employees and is set to overtake William Hill as the biggest bookmaker in Britain. The company will, however, have to sell a few outlets in order to satisfy any concerns from competition authorities.
Peter Erskine, Ladbrokes’ Chairman, commented on the new deal by saying that this is a major strategic step for Ladbrokes which firmly accelerates their strategy to improve the customer experience and build recreational scale. He added that Ladbrokes and Coral are two highly complementary businesses, with rich heritage and brand presence across the UK and internationally.
Jim Mullen, Ladbrokes Chief Executive, who will retain his position at the head of the new group, said that he was announcing an aggressive three-year investment program to build their UK retail, digital and Australian recreational customer base. He added that he also intends to restore their passion and pride of being at the heart of sports betting in their culture and all that they do.