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Coral & Ladbrokes Ordered to Sell 400 Betting Shops
- July 27, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
Coral Gala Group and Ladbrokes have been given the all clear to complete the £2.3 billion merger, provided they get rid of around 400 betting shops, it has been revealed.
The UK Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has been reviewing the merger in an attempt to protect the competition and they announced their findings on Tuesday.
The regulator had performed a detailed investigation and found that the two sports betting operators need to sell 400 betting shops between them to decrease the competition in 642 local areas.
Even though both UK operators are predominantly focused on online channels, their betting shops on the high street continue to draw huge crowds and that is the reason why CMA believes the clearout sale is required if the customers are to be protected.
And while you may think that selling as many as 400 shops will prove to be a problem for the two gambling giants, this is actually good news for them, seeing as how initial predictions suggested they could be order to offload up to 1,000 stores.
Coral and Ladbrokes run around 4,000 betting shops between them, so they are unlikely to be too bothered by the CMA findings.
Will Others Follow Suit?
According to reports, Betfred, Boylesports and some private equity companies have expressed their interest in buying the real estate, so it looks as though the two operators will have no problems meeting the requirements before the highly anticipated merger is finalised.
The new company, formed by the merger between Coral and Ladbrokes, will instantly become UK’s leading sports betting operator, with Paddy Power and Betfair the first high-profile bookmakers to have gone the same route.
And with 888 Holdings and Rank Group set to follow in their footsteps, the pressure is now on the likes of William Hill and bet365 to adapt to the new trends.