Ladbrokes, Coral need to sell shops to win deal clearance - CMA
Bookmakers Ladbrokes and Gala Coral will have to sell between 350 and 400 shops to win clearance for their merger, the British competition regulator said on Friday.
In the provisional findings of a review of the deal, the Competition and Markets Authority said a tie-up between the second- and third-largest bookmakers may give rise to competition concerns in a large number of local areas.
"In order to resolve these concerns, around 350 to 400 shops may have to be sold for the merger to be conditionally cleared," it said.
Ladbrokes operates 2,154 betting shops in Britain and 77 in Northern Ireland and Coral operates around 1,850 betting shops in Britain.
Ladbrokes agreed the terms of a 2.3 billion pound all-share merger with Coral in July, and the company's shareholders backed the deal in November.