Ladbrokes Continues Talks with Online Sports Betting Operator Sportingbet

Published Thursday, August 04, 2011 -

Ladbrokes the iconic U.K. book maker is keeping its cards close to its chest when it comes to the deal its negotiating with online sports betting group Sportingbet. Overtures were made over a month ago by Ladbrokes which is looking to expand it online division by acquiring Sportingbet.

Ladbrokes has declined to talk about the progress of the takeover keeping investors and analysts in the dark. Chief Executive Officer of Ladbrokes Richard Glynn commented, "When there's any more news we will deliver it to the market," putting to rest speculation and rumours.
Performance by Ladbrokes has lagged behind rival U.K. book maker William Hill so Ladbrokes is playing a game of catch up. The firm is making all the right moves to expand its online gambling sector in an all out effort to obtain more properties.

CEO Glynn commented that Ladbrokes would only proceed with an acquisition if it delivers value to the company’s shareholders. Talks were ended with online operator 888 following four months of discussions where no agreement was reached.  Glynn said, "We will continue to look at non-organic things where they deliver shareholder value, accelerate our core capabilities and where we will not take on any unmitigatable regulatory risk."
Ivor Jones an analyst with Numis commented, “We believe that if the acquisition of Sportingbet goes ahead, the share price will respond positively to the increased exposure to online gaming and the opportunity to reinvest more of the retail cash flow in online growth," Jones continued, "Even if there is no bid, we would expect the shares to move up as the uncertainty over an equity funding is removed."
Glynn also said the company was expected to meet full-year profit expectations despite a tough trading environment. "Whilst remaining mindful of tough economic conditions and continuing uncertainty affecting consumers' disposable incomes, we remain in line with board expectations for the year,"


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