The suits at Ladbrokes have certainly been busy so far in 2011.
They have already been in takeover talks with 888 Casino…talks that from all indications are still underway with an offer of £240 million still on the table.
Now they are apparently in merger talks with Playtech.
The merged entity would be a a $3.5 billion behemoth combining Ladbroke’s High Street presence and ‘B to C’ online business, with the world’s largest online casino software provider.
The UK’s Daily Telegraph is calling it a merger that would ‘change the face of the global gambling industry’.
It’s a long way off still…Ladbrokes have only just instructed their bankers UBS and Greenhill to engage in preliminary discussions with Teddi Sagi and Playtech management. But if it goes ahead it will certainly cause a few ripples.
One of those ripples will be the future of the Playtech/William Hill online joint venture, William Hill Online, which has been going along swimmingly since forming in 2008. Can’t imaging Ladbrokes continuing to support that little arrangement.
And what of the 888 takeover? Would that still go ahead? If so what an online presence that would create.
All very, very interesting indeed.