M&A

GVC boss: Innovative Ladbrokes Coral deal will deliver for shareholders

Kenny Alexander speaks exclusively to EGR about the opportunities from its latest acquisition and why he’s confident of another successful integration

GVC Holdings’ multi-billion pound deal for Ladbrokes Coral will deliver similar shareholder returns to previous acquisitions and avoid the type of product development slowdowns that have hurt other major mergers, according to CEO Kenny Alexander.

Speaking exclusive to EGR, Alexander said he was excited by the prospect of Ladbrokes Coral joining the burgeoning operator and promised it would prove to be another fruitful deal for its shareholders.

“We’re always looking at shareholder returns and that’s all we really care about; if it’s not going to deliver returns then we’re not going to do the deals,” Alexander told EGR. “That’s the reason for doing the Sportingbet deal, the bwin.party deal and it’s the reason we’re doing the Ladbrokes Coral deal now.

“If we don’t think it’s going to deliver the right value for shareholders, then we don’t bother looking at it. If you look at the returns we’ve delivered to shareholders over the last seven or eight years, nobody compares to GVC.

“We’ve been proven right in the past by doing deals and I’m pretty sure this one will deliver a similar set of returns.”

GVC CEO Kenny Alexander

Alexander says he is confident the Ladbrokes Coral acquisition will deliver strong returns for shareholders

The acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral was announced on 22 December and has been hailed by analysts and industry commentators as “innovative” and “beautifully simplistic” in its ability to protect shareholders of both companies.

The 160.9p per share deal (£3.1bn) includes up to an additional 42.8p ‘contingent value right’ linked to the outcome on fixed odds betting terminal stakes, which would potentially take the total offer up to £3.9bn.

And although some analysts have warned the merger could lead to integration and product development issues, Alexander told EGR he is confident GVC can replicate the same success it experienced with bwin.party.

“As you do these integrations, you get more experienced and we’ve got very good technology and people who’ve done them before,” he said.

Alexander continued: “So I’m not concerned about it and don’t see how the Ladbrokes Coral one is going to be any different, even if they’ve just done their own.

“Product development was a concern when we did the deal with bwin.party and we managed to completely improve the bwin and PartyGaming product offering while at the same time integrating the businesses as well.

“We aim to do the same this time and expect the Ladbrokes Coral product offering to be continually improved and at the same time in the background we will be working on the integrations and migrations.”

To read our full exclusive interview with Kenny Alexander, pick up a copy of EGR Intel 165 from next week. 

And if you’re interested in learning more about EGR Global and our membership packages, please visit our stand (ND2-D) at ICE Totally Gaming.

GVC Holdings | Kenny Alexander | Ladbrokes Coral | M&A

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