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Ladbrokes To Buy Betdaq For €30 Million

Britain’s Largest Bookmaker Augments Online Offering With Betting Exchange Purchase


The largest bookmaker in the UK, Ladbrokes, has agreed to buy Global Betting Exchange Alderney (GBEA) for €30 million. GBEA owns the world’s second biggest betting exchange, Irish-based Betdaq.

The bookie will also take a 10 percent stake in TBH Guernsey, which provides technology to GBEA, for €4 million with an option to buy it outright after four years.

The companies hope to complete the deal by late February 2013.

Ladbrokes said the deal combined its global brand and materially improved sportsbook with a high quality, scalable betting exchange. The plan is to create the most comprehensive sports betting service in the market.

The company also said the move accelerates its “strategy to grow
digital revenues through investment in proprietary technology and
delivery of best of breed products, providing a differentiated experience
to customers.”

Ladbrokes has suffered greatly from a lack of cohesive digital strategy
in recent years. It’s poker product in particular has spiraled into near insignificance in the crowded European marketplace.

Ladbrokes’ chief executive, Richard Glynn, said, “The Betdaq exchange is a well-regarded and well invested business and a close strategic fit for Ladbrokes.

“Whilst the main focus of our digital growth strategy continues to progress well, this bolt on acquisition provides us with an exciting opportunity to grow our share of wallet through the creation of a differentiated and comprehensive sports betting proposition for customers and also supports our drive for improved liability management."

The total consideration for the acquisition of GBEA is capped and, as such, the transaction will not require shareholder approval.

However analyst Daniel Stewart & Co. sounded a more cautious note saying, “The rationale for the acquisition is to provide sports betting customers with a betting exchange option as many existing LAD [Ladbrokes] customers already use a betting exchange, which we assume to be mainly Betfair.

“In our view, we think it may prove too early at this stage to assess whether or not the exchange will prove a success and provide the necessary turnaround in the fortunes of LAD Digital (online) business. It is possible in our view the exchange could lead to cannibalisation to some degree on the other hand if it gains the necessary momentum it should prove a competitive offering against the largest exchange Betfair (NR).

By close of trading yesterday Ladbrokes share price was up 3.36 percent to 206.1 pence.