Ladbrokes and Gala Coral About to Merge

A multi-billion merger of Ladbrokes and Gala Coral is imminent, according to reports with former HBOS chief Andy Hornby set to be named COO of the new Ladbrokes Coral plc. The combination of the two companies ‎will create a business with roughly 4000 betting shops, many of which will likely have to be sold to meet gaming competition regulations.

Deal could take a year to complete

British-based betting company Ladbrokes may be close to completing its acquisition of gaming operator Gala Coral. According to SBC News, both operators say the merger could take up to a year to finalize.

In June, Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen said he was confident the merger—which would create the largest such operation in the UK, with 4,000 betting shops—would be approved by regulators.

SBC notes the biggest obstacle could be Gala Coral’s “complex ownership structure.” The company owes £2.2 billion (US$3.4 billion) to the hedge funds Apollo, Cerberus and Park Square following its 2011 corporate restructuring.

The announcement of the multi-billion merger of Ladbrokes and Coral hasn’t even been made, but the new company reportedly has a COO

Former HBOS—a UK banking and insurance company and the holding company for the Bank of Scotland—chief executive Andy Hornby will reportedly be named COO of the newly formed Ladbrokes Coral plc, according to Sky News.

Hornby‎ would be responsible for Ladbrokes Gala Coral’s betting shops as well as its digital operations in the UK, Sky News said citing unidentified sources. Hornby will not sit on the company’s board, however.

Sources also told the new agency that Mullen will be named CEO of the new company.

The chairman of Gala Coral, Rob Templeman‎, is expected to step down once the deal completes.