ladbrokes
DUBLIN IRELAND - APRIL 16, 2011 : Ladbrokes branch in Dublin, Ireland. Ladbrokes plc is a British-based betting and gambling company.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral (LON: LCL) is in the midst of “detailed” takeover talks by online rival GVC, which could value the company at £3.9 billion.

GVC, which owns Sportingbet and Foxy Bingo, has put forward a cash-and-shares offer valuing Ladbrokes at 160.9p a share, with additional loan notes worth 42.8p a share.

The deal would result in Ladbrokes Coral shareholders owning around 46.5 percent of the combined group and GVC about 53.5 percent.

In a joint-statement, the company’s said:

“The enlarged group would be an online-led, globally positioned betting and gaming business that would benefit from a multibrand, multichannel strategy applied across some of the strongest brands in the sector.

“[It] would be geographically diversified with a large portfolio of businesses across both regulated and developing markets, with the scale and resources to address the dynamics of a rapidly changing global industry.”

Following a £2.3 billion merger last year between Ladbrokes and Coral, the firm became the UK’s biggest High Street bookmaker.

The talks marks the third attempt previous to reach a deal between the two firms, after two previous unsuccessful round of negotiations. Discussions in the summer disintegrated following a price dispute prior to a government-led gambling review.

The final amount for the sale of Ladbrokes is dependent upon the review of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which could result in the maximum stake falling to just £2 from £100.

Nevertheless, the both companies remained optimistic about the future potential of the proposed merged group, commenting:

“The enlarged group would have strong growth prospects with momentum in its online businesses, potential for material synergies including the use of leading proprietary technology, and the opportunity to select the best of both people and operations.”

The market has reacted positively to the news, with shares jumping on Thursday morning.

Back in early November, shares rose over 6 percent after Carl Leaver stepped down from his one-year fixed term position as Director of Ladbrokes.

Shares in Ladbrokes Coral are currently trading up 26.46 percent as of 11.54AM (GMT).