ladbrokes shop signage

Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral is set to be taken over by online rival and Party Poker owner GVC in a deal worth up to £4bn ($5.4bn or €4.5bn).

Earlier in December both parties said their were in ‘detailed discussions’ about a possible takeover which suggested a cash and shares arrangement.

GVC, who are better known for their online gambling brands such as Foxy Bingo and Sportingbet, believe the deal will create an online-led global gambling giant, combining the presence on the high street with strong internet brands.

Once the takeover goes through GVC will own about 53.5% of the newly formed group with Kenneth Alexander, its chief executive, set to take charge.

John Kelly, chairman of Ladbrokes Coral, said: “Ladbrokes Coral board believes that the proposed combination with GVC accelerates our strategy to improve the customer experience, drive faster online growth and build a more diverse and extensive international portfolio of businesses.

“The acquisition has compelling strategic rationale allied to an opportunity to use the best of both from proven management teams and will create material shareholder value.

“It secures earlier delivery of our long-term value potential, which is why the board of Ladbrokes Coral has unanimously recommended GVC’s offer.”

The initial value of the deal is understood to be £3.2bn which will likely climb to £4bn once regulatory changes in the UK have been completed.