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Ladbrokes May Bid For Sportingbet

Preliminary Approach Made And Shares Rise 20 Percent

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British bookmaker Ladbrokes has made a preliminary approach to London-based Sportingbet plc with a view to buying the company.

Shares in Sportingbet rose by up to 20 percent on yesterday’s news as Ladbrokes seeks to expand its online presence which has been faltering in recent times.

Evolution Securities analyst James Hollins said of the move, “We think that a deal makes sound strategic sense for Ladbrokes as it would instantaneously establish a market-leading position in more than 10 global territories, including the key Australian, Spanish and Greek markets.

“Ladbrokes is highly U.K.-centric and does not have the brands to penetrate.”
Ladbrokes has recently courted both 888.com and Playtech in an attempt to bolster its Internet and overseas business.

Sportingbet, which recently agreed to buy Australian bookmaker Centrebet, owns Paradise Poker. ladbrokes recently reported its online poker revenue down by one-third.