Ladbrokes and Coral merger will create UK’s biggest bookies

Robyn Vinter

Bookmakers plan to merge to make £2.3bn company

Ladbrokes has announced plans to merge with Gala Coral in a deal which will value the new company at £2.3bn.

The bookmaker will overtake market leader William Hill as the largest in the UK, combining Ladbrokes’ 2,100 shops with Coral’s 1,845.

Ladbrokes is offering 10% of the company, 93 million shares, to investors to finance the deal.

Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine said the merger was a “major strategic step for Ladbrokes”.

He said: “Together, we will create a leading betting and gaming business. The transaction will provide an attractive opportunity to generate considerable value for both sets of shareholders, through significant operating synergies and a strong cash flow profile.”

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