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Ladbrokes Ends Merger Talks

Takeover talks between Ladbrokes and Sportingbet have ended after neither operator could agree “suitable structure that delivered sufficient value to shareholders in a meaningful timeframe,” an official statement said.

Discussions lasted four months, but “legacy risk” (Sportingbet’s Turkish business) caused Ladbrokes to withdraw its interest. The British bookmaker had until October 17 to make a formal decision following new takeover rules introduced in September.

Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn said: “The potential benefits and risks associated with a combination with Sportingbet were clear to us from the outset and have been well covered by the market. Having completed our analysis we have been unable to agree a structure which delivers increased shareholder value within an acceptable regulatory environment. We have therefore agreed to end our discussions.”

Andrew McIver, Sportingbet’s chief executive, said in the statement that discussions with Gaming VC about the sale of Sportingbet’s Turkish language website were progressing.

Sportingbet shares dipped 20% in trading, while Ladbrokes’ stock slipped 3%.

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