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Ladbrokes Confirms Early Discussions over the Acquisition of 888

Ladbrokes Plc has acknowledged that preliminary talks are under way regarding the possible takeover of its competitor, 888 Holdings Plc. Early discussions have been confirmed between the two parties regarding the possible acquisition of the company 888 Holdings plc. by Ladbrokes plc. However, there is no definite information that these talks will result in an actual offer being made. In 2006 there were discussions regarding a similar takeover, but the plans did not materialize, apparently due to instability in the U.S. market following the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. At that time, in the possible acquisition discussed, the 888 company was valued at approximately ₤470 million.  Recent speculation has suggested that today, a deal would involve a considerably lower amount, with a figure of approximately ₤240 being mentioned.  The 888 company experienced a fall in its share price during the year 2010 however, it is expected that the annual profits anticipated will be reached.  In the meantime, Ladbrokes have introduced "Project Galvanise" that is targeting the doubling of its share price in the next 5 years and the improvement of achievement rates. It should be emphasized that there is nothing definite with regards to a potential deal however, it is clear that preliminary discussions in this matter are taking place between the two parties concerned. In response to the speculation in this regard in the press, a statement was posted at the Ladbrokes Plc. site, noting that "The Board of Ladbrokes notes the speculation in the weekend press and the Company can confirm that it is in the early stages of reviewing a possible transaction involving 888 Holdings plc("888").  The statement also clarifies that "No decision has been made as to whether any proposal will be made to 888."