GVC and Ladbrokes merger under way

The UK gambling industry has been getting a bit smaller recently, with mergers taking out some of the bigger companies. Over the last year or so, we’ve been hearing a lot about Ladbrokes, as they have teamed up with some of the largest gambling companies on the market. Their latest merger is underway, but how will this impact players?

About the Takeover

This takeover has been on the cards for a while now, with March being the month that it properly got underway. The agreement between Ladbrokes Coral and GVC Holdings was finally reached and this has set the rest of the process underway.

This has been a bumpy road for both parties, as mergers of this size are never really straightforward. There are all sorts of different groups that weigh in on these matters, including the Competitions and Markets Authority. It’s their job to ensure that one company doesn’t get too much of the industry, as this would make it much harder for others to get involved.

The merger is worth £2.2billion, so it’s no mean feat to get this all signed off and ready to go. The negotiations are difficult for these companies to agree upon, as there are so many small details to be aware of. As you could imagine, getting these shareholders to agree can be tricky!

With the industry changing so often, it’s difficult to value companies like these. The changing expectations of players, regulatory updates and other factors tend to impact the value that we give these companies.

Government Recommendations

In a review undertaken last year, the government found that consolidation of these companies has the potential to make them much stronger. They could band together in order to be more likely to weather the upcoming regulatory storms that are plaguing the industry.

The crackdowns that they are planning on the likes of FOBTs will have a major effect on high street betting shops. They could potentially mitigate this risk with safety in numbers, as they merge together in order to create more of a buffer.

This is good for the government too, as they don’t want to be putting businesses out of work by increasing responsible betting initiatives.

Approval and Next Steps

There was a huge investigation into whether this deal would be detrimental to the industry, before it was able to go forward. Speculation at the time was mixed as to whether the companies would actually be allowed to merge. With the correct approval under their bets, they could go forward with the logistics of the deal.

The merged company now has considerable assets in the gambling space. They have around 3,600 shops and a total of 26,800 employees, hopefully these will thrive in the wake of the merger. They also have a huge combined online presence, with thousands of customers.

So what’s next for this newly formed super operator? Well, they may begin to explore new markets with the capital and assurance warranted by the merger. There are plenty of countries out there that they could potentially expand into, including wider areas of Europe and North America.

The effect that this will have on the Isle of Man economy is pretty huge, as they are a smaller territory. These two companies coming together has the potential to really give this smaller economy a boost, something that will be appreciated by the government.

We may see more companies banding together to weather the changing market that exists in iGaming these days. This merger has been an arduous undertaking however, so it may take some time before these companies have a plan together of how they will run as one.

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