Labrokes and Gala Coral to merge?
Ladbrokes have confirmed that they're in talks with their Gala Coral, in what is looking like a massive merger, which would create the largest gambling firm in the UK. This saw Ladbrokes' shares rocketing by more than 10%, however, like all mergers like this, this will get the authorities interest piqued, as there's sure to be concerns about fair competition.
This isn't the first time Ladbrokes have tried to take over Gala Coral - they tried to do it back in 1998. However, the move was blocked by Peter Mandelson who was the Trade and Industry Minister back then.
If it does go through, the merger will unify around 2,100 shops from Ladbrokes and 1,845 from Coral. William Hill would stop being the biggest bookies in the UK in the process.
Ladbrokes chief executive Jim Mullen said: "A merger with Gala Coral could create a combined business with significant scale and has the potential to generate substantial cost synergies, creating value for both companies' shareholders. The board has not yet concluded whether a transaction is strategically attractive and can be delivered to shareholders on appropriate terms."
Substantial cost synergies eh? It seems they've not only got loads of money, but loads of nonsense businesspeak too.
For fans of Bingo, this merger will not include Gala's bingo business, but Gala Coral will be looking into "all strategic options" for their business, adding: "There can be no certainty that the discussions between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral Group will lead to any agreement and Gala Coral Group remains confident in its future as a standalone business with highly attractive future potential."