Business World

Friday 23 February 2018

GVC bid could kick off betting deal spree

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Shares in betting giant Ladbrokes Coral closed down slightly last night after revelations the group had rejected a recent £3.6bn takeover approach from online gambling group GVC.

Talks have reportedly broken down but are a sign that a fresh round of consolidation in the betting industry could yet be on the cards after a wave of deals that created giants like Ladbrokes Coral and Paddy Power Betfair.

At home shares were up 12pc in Hostelworld after it announced revenue had increased 16pc to €46.6m for the six months to 30 June, as the number of group bookings increased to 3.9 million.

Adjusted earnings before EBITDA increased by 27pc to €12.9m compared to the same period in 2016.

Elsewhere, a fall of more than 60pc in the shares of UK based subprime lender Provident Financial following another profit warning dominated London trading on Tuesday, although the broader market was supported by stronger commodities and a weaker pound.

"A catastrophic share price drop in a subprime lender - it's like the last 10 years never happened. Is this a Northern Rock moment? Probably not - this is more about management failings than a market-wide issue. Rivals are taking market share," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.9pc, underpinned by mining shares and gains in almost all stocks. The mid-cap index, which is more domestically focused and is often penalised when sterling falls, added 0.5pc. The Iseq index was up 0.91pc at 6134.68. BHP Billiton rose 2.1pc after the world's largest mining company reported a surge in underlying full-year profits and said it would exit its under-performing US shale oil and gas business.

Irish Independent

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