Ladbrokes and Coral Merger Could Be Completed by January

Ladbrokes and Coral to speed up merger.

The £2.3 billion merger between Ladbrokes and Coral could be completed within 15 days. (Image: bond-international.co.uk)

Ladbrokes’ planned merger with Coral could be completed sooner than many anticipated after the two British gambling companies asked the UK Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) to speed up its investigation.

As with all high profile mergers, a number of checks have to be completed before money exchanges hands and the final contracts are signed.

A Few Hurdles to Clear Before the Ink Dries

One of the first issues the deal faced was opposition from Ladbrokes shareholder, Dermot Desmond, after he stated that he was against the company’s decision to merge with the smaller entity, Coral. However, after a vote by the board, Desmond was overruled and the deal was sanctioned by a 96.6 percent majority.

With the terms agreed, the deal was eventually passed to the CMA which is in charge of ensuring the terms of the merger don’t negatively affect consumers or create an unfair market.

Although the process normally takes 40 days to complete (which would mean a completion date of February 15, 2016), relevant parties can enact a clause which can expedite the process.

According to a recent report, both Ladbrokes and Coral have agreed to enact this clause and move the deal to phase two, which could mean the deal is completed within the next 15 days.

Approval from Shareholders to Speed Up Deal

However, before the CMA can formally conclude its investigation, it has to put the fast track proposal to shareholders in the form of a letter. If this letter doesn’t receive any negative responses, the CMA will expedite its investigation after January 4.

Following the news that Ladbrokes and Coral are eager to speed up the £2.3 billion ($3.4 billion) merger, shares in the former improved by 1.14 percent and this trend is likely to continue once the final documents are signed.

From a consumer point of view, the new deal will not only see Ladbrokes and Coral become the biggest bookmaker in the UK, but it will mean a slew of new betting opportunities for casino, sports betting and poker players in the coming months.

What is the UK Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA)?

The CMA is an independent non-ministerial department that employs more than 700 people spread across offices in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The main aim of the CMA is to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK. Working from an independent standpoint, the CMA’s main aim is to make markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.

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