Ladbrokes in talks to buy 888 internet casino


Nurses love to give shots
Dec 16, 2004
Palm Bay Florida
Ladbrokes swoops on web rival
Ladbrokes has made a £240m takeover approach to online gaming company 888 in the first strategic move by its new chief executive, Richard Glynn.

The bookmaker has proposed an offer of around 70p a share for 888 – the internet casino and poker group that it originally tried to buy four years ago in a £470m deal.
Should the deal happen, it would be Ladbrokes' first acquisition since the bookmaker was spun out of the Hilton hotels group in 2005.
However, Ladbrokes –advised by Deutsche Bank and Greenhill – may not have the field to itself. It is understood that 888 has also courted other suitors, including online rival, Sportingbet. Ladbrokes' last attempt to buy 888 was scuppered by the US Department of Justice's crackdown on gaming companies and the so-called "illegal" bets it had taken from US citizens.
Ladbrokes' former chief executive, Chris Bell, failed to persuade his board to back the ambitious deal in the face of the DoJ's pursuit of gaming executives who faced arrest and potential jail. The non-executives – at that time dominated by American corporate figures inherited from the Hilton days – also baulked at the potential litigation risk from buying 888.
Mr Glynn's latest move will be seen by some commentators as something of a gamble because, unlike rivals such as PartyGaming and Sportingbet, 888 has still not struck an immunity deal with the DoJ – an issue that has itself puzzled analysts. PartyGaming paid $105m (£68m) and Sportingbet $33m to remove the risk of prosecution for having taken illegal bets in the past.
By Helia Ebrahimi
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Ladbrokes in talks to buy 888 internet casino
If Ladbrokes launches a formal offer for 888 it could lift the London stock market, which has been bullish in recent weeks triggered by takeover talks
Ladbrokes is considering an offer for the online gaming group 888, four years after attempting a takeover of the Gilbraltar-based online casino.

The new chief executive of Ladbrokes, Richard Glynn, has held "very preliminary discussions" with 888, which is also thought to have had approaches from other suitors in the gambling sector.

"Ladbrokes confirms that it is in very preliminary discussions with 888. There can be no certainty that these discussions will ultimately lead to an offer for 888 being made, nor as to the terms of any such offer," the company said last night.

In entering the talks with 888, Glynn is trying to address the weak online presence of Ladbrokes, which in comparison with its rivals largely operates through high-street shops.

It is a problem that stalked his predecessor, Chris Bell, who attempted to buy 888 in 2006 but was deterred because of legal action taking place in the US under a clampdown on internet gambling. 888 has been the subject of takeover rumours for months after a profits warning in the spring about its online poker business.

If Ladbrokes does proceed with a formal offer it could lift the London stock market, which has been ignited in recent weeks by takeover talks, including the £895m offer for De La Rue by French rival Oberthur.
Jill Treanor
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Weak online presence:confused:

What about Ladbrokes MGS casino?

This could be a far BIGGER presence if it was marketed more widely. Currently, it is something of a niche, mainy for UK players. In fact, many of their offers are open to "UK and Irish players only". They have also driven out players that use the ewallets through over draconian additional terms just because your deposit came from one, rather than from a card - as if deposits from Neteller are somehow 20x luckier than ones from a card:rolleyes:

This lost them MY custom last December, and ever since.

888 simply replicates what they already have, but with a different software. 888 have also "pissed off" the player community through their past actions, and refusal to engage with any mediation service other than eCogra by quoting bogus excuses.

Only recently does it seem that 888 are trying to mend their standing among players, mainly by coming back on board here at CM - an indication that they are prepared to engage with Max over player issues, and CM over more general matters.

Maybe the fact they are up for sale has influenced them into trying to get back some "trust" from the player community.

Since 888 also discriminate against Neteller users, it would be a good fit with Ladbrokes:rolleyes:
Update from 888

We are working very hard to please our players and the CasinoMeister community, it is very important to any online casino and we understand that.

Unfortunately the Ladbrokes-888 talks are preliminary and could take a long time till anything is decided, there is not much more information available on the talks. Below is the link to the official statement, feel free to take a look.

With or without Ladbrokes our goal on CasinoMeister is to really work hard with the community and I am here to help anyone and everyone who needs it.

Feel free to pm me with any questions or concerns.

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Kind Regards.

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