Ladbrokes & Coral To Sell 359 Betting Shops As Part Of Merge

  • 17th October 2016
Ladbrokes & Coral To Sell 359 Betting Shops To Betfred & Stan James As Part Of Merge

Ladbrokes & Coral To Sell 359 Betting Shops As Part Of Merge

It has been confirmed that Ladbrokes and Coral are set to sell 359 betting shops to Betfred and Stan James for £55.5milliion. Betfred will take over 322 shops after agreeing to pay £55m whilst Stan James will pay £500,000 for 37 stores. This comes after Ladbrokes and Coral were ordered to do so by the Competitions and Markets authority (CMA) earlier this year, in order to allow the two betting companies to complete their £2.3billion merger. The 359 betting shops involved make up for around 10% of the combined total they currently own.

The chief executive of Ladbrokes, Jim Mullen, feels the last significant hurdle has been crossed in delivering the merger. The merger between the two will create Britain’s largest high street bookmaker overtaking William Hill and concerns from the CMA over competition led to the group being forced to sell shops before any deal could be completed. This merger follows the £6billion deal between Betfair and Paddy Power earlier this year as companies try and consolidate their positions. Ladbrokes currently has over 2,200 shops in the UK and Coral has over 1,600. A merger between the two without the sale of the shops would have left them with a fairly high percentage of the UK betting shops.

Ladbrokes and Coral hoped to receive £100million for the shops however the figure is significantly lower. This comes after Boylesports confirmed back in August that it planned on bidding for the shops. Whilst it is possible other suitors were prepared to pay more, Betfred & Stan James seemed to have secured the deal paving way for the completion of the merger. The increased access and usage of online betting may also have impacted the price; however it is fair to assume that both Betfred and Stan James still have faith in the high street, with Betfred recently agreeing a multi-year deal with Sky Sports for all of their channels to be available in stores. The construction of the deal is a little weird though, Stan James are paying around £13,500 per shop whilst Betfred are paying around £170,800 per shop.

Once the deal is completed Betfred will have around 1,700 high street shops in the UK and Stan James will have over 100. With this deal, Betfred cement themselves has one of the biggest high street bookmakers in the UK and Stan James suggest they are a bookmakers on the up.

The sale of the shops are subject to approval from the CMA and the completion of the merger. This should now be finalised though and shops will be transferred on a phased basis. There are question marks over what shop locations will be the ones used in the sale and how people’s jobs may be affected.