Ladbrokes And Gala Coral Merge To Create Largest UK Bookmaker
The reports of Ladbrokes and Gala Coral planning to merge surfaced last month and were covered by our team. Today saw the two betting firms confirm the repeorts which will see the creation of the largest bookmaker in the UK. The move to merge the two will create a gambling giant worth £2.3 billion which will overtake the current largest bookmaker, William Hill.
The merger is controversial as a similar move was thwarted in 1998 by the then business Secretary Peter Mandelson who believed the move would harm consumers. The combined group will be called Ladbrokes Coral and between the two of them they have 4,000 betting shops and 30,000 employees. It will be listed on the London Stock Exchange with both brands set to say on the high street.
One of the controversial appointments of the new group is that of the Chief Operating officer Andy Hornby. He has a shady past with HBOS Bank that imploded in 2008 and has got some raising serious questions. The bosses from Ladbrokes and Coral defended the appointment of Hornby and said,” Andy Hornby is a first-class executive that this combined group is lucky to have.”
Ladbrokes have struggled to perform in the online sector like their rivals William Hill. Chief Executive Jim Mullet was delighted at the merger and said,” This is a major strategic step for Ladbrokes. 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.”