It was about time that the news of another merger in the gambling industry came around the corner and thankfully, the weekend didn’t disappoint. These things usually come around the corner at the speed of light and the amalgamation between Ladbrokes and 888 will likely be no different. Yesterday we broke news of the two being in discussions, and, unlike the botched Sportingbet/Unibet merger, it sounds as though both sides are on the same page.
Today both of the two released statements to the London Stock Exchange confirming that they were in talks but added, “there can be no certainty that these discussions will ultimately lead to an offer.”
On news of the merger being put into the public domain, 888’s share price rose by almost a fifth but they didn’t want to comment any further on the latest merger talk when asked.
We also contacted Ladbrokes on the subject of the merger, and didn’t receive a reply from them either. eGR, however, quoted their head of PR Ciaran O’Brien as saying the proposed acquisition was in its “early days,” and that “nothing was certain” at this early stage. He also stated that it was not part of the newly installed CEO Richard Glynn’s “Project Galvanise”.
One of the problems that might come out is that 888 have yet to pay their bargaining wedge to the US Department of Justice, so any move into the US would be problematic until this were resolved. Add to that the fact they’re both publicly traded companies and you can see that problems are possible should the merger be completed.