Ladbrokes and Playtech in Potential Merger

Ladbrokes has been raking in the headlines in recent weeks with rumors over its potential acquisition of 888. Now, it’s being reported that the British online gambling giant is in merger talks with Playtech.

“A merger, which would be worth 2.2 billion pounds ($3.5 billion), is one of several options being discussed,” reports Bloomberg’s Chris Peterson.

Isle of Man-based Playtech is the world’s largest gambling software provider, states the Telegraph.

The Telegraph adds that the merger would “transform the betting industry”. At any rate, it would certainly make it more competitive, by creating a company that could rival the soon-to-be-merged bwin and PartyGaming in the quest for igaming market dominance.

“While either transaction would help address a perceived weakness in Ladbrokes’ business – its online gambling capability – the overtures to Playtech highlight the radical thinking going on at the bookmaker under Richard Glynn, its new chief executive,” the Telegraph adds.

If the merger ultimately happens, it’d change Ladbrokes from its status as mostly consumer facing and into a much bigger, more well-rounded provider of proprietary betting, casino, and poker software.

The talks are only preliminary at this point, the articles emphasize; the Telegraph also points out the potential problems from the merger, given that Playtech currently powers many of Ladbrokes’ competitors, including Betfred, the Tote and William Hill.

888 still on the table
The takeover discussion of 888, which Bloomberg values as a £240 million deal, is also ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Guardian editorializes that Ladbrokes should “not rush in” to that possible merger with 888.

“It is now seven weeks since Ladbrokes said it was talking to, the online poker and casino group,” writes the Guardian‘s Nils Pratley. “Even allowing for the holiday season, that’s a long time, which is one reason why outsiders doubt whether Ladbrokes’ chief executive, Richard Glynn, really wants to stake his chips on 888 – or, at least, wishes to do so immediately.”