Ladbrokes & Gala Coral announce £2.3bn merger plans

Bookmakers Ladbrokes and Gala Coral have agreed a merger which will create a new entity with net revenue of £2.3bn.

The agreement to form Ladbrokes Coral, which will help facilitate faster online growth, will see Ladbrokes chief executive Jim Mullen lead the new entity, while Carl Leaver, chief executive of Gala Coral will become executive deputy chairman for a 12 month period and will lead cost synergy delivery, expected to be valued at least £65m.

Gala Coral’s chief financial officer, Paul Bowtell will continue in his role and non-executive director of Ladbrokes, John Kelly, will act as non-executive chairman.

Peter Erskine, chairman of Ladbrokes, described the merger as "a major strategic step for the company” and claimed that it would improve customer experience.

“Together, we will create a leading betting and gaming business combining strong brands with an attractive multi-channel offering and an extensive national and international coverage. 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,” he added.

The merger is yet to be cleared by shareholders and any competition review.

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