Online Gambling to Expand with Ladbrokes Coral Merger

Published Friday, October 09, 2015 -
Online Gambling to Expand with Ladbrokes Coral Merger

Ladbrokes the iconic British gambling service provider has recently announced it has secured the financing required to acquire rival gambling operator Gala Coral. Ladbrokes has been trying to purchase Gala Coral for a long time with the first attempt being made back in 1998 which was prevented due to competition laws. Ladbrokes confirmed last June that it was having merger talks with Gala Coral, with a deal expected to come together by the end of 2015. Back then both companies said that the proposed deal would involve Ladbrokes and Gala Coral-operated Coral Retail, Eurobet Retail and the company’s online businesses.

Now in October Ladbrokes has signed a £1.35 billion facility with a syndicate of relationship banks in order to provide committed financing for its proposed merger with rival Gala Coral. The new Ladbrokes Coral entity will become the largest betting shop chain in the United Kingdom.

This deal is split into three tranches and will be available for drawing on subject to completion of the merger. Tranche A will feature a £600 million term facility available in October 2016 and, subject to extension options up until January of 2018. A £400 million revolving credit facility will be made available in October 2020 for Tranche B, while Tranche C will grant Ladbrokes access to a revolving credit facility of £350 million in June 2019.

Ian Bull, chief financial officer of Ladbrokes commented, “I am pleased that our relationship banks have shown strong support in putting in place a significant size facility at similar pricing to our current facilities.” Adding, “We believe that this facility will provide sufficient liquidity to an enlarged Ladbrokes Coral group following the merger.”

Ladbrokes Chief Executive Officer, Jim Mullen who will head up the merged company said, "This is a major strategic step for Ladbrokes," adding, "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. "

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