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Ladbrokes Examines Merger Option with Playtech

Preliminary talks seemingly open between Ladbrokes and gaming software provider, Playtech regarding possible merger. It has been reported by the British newspaper, The Telegraph that Ladbrokes is examining the possibility of a possible merger with software giant Playtech. Such a union would create a huge gambling entity worth approximately ₤2.2 billion. Last week, Playtech was valued at ₤937m while Ladbrokes is valued at ₤1.24 billion. However, talk of any such merger is not without obstacles.  At this point in time, these reports have not been confirmed by either party. It should be noted that the discussions regarding a deal between Ladbrokes and Playtech may produce nothing, especially when taking into consideration that some of Playtech's customers are Ladbrokes' direct competitors in the gambling field. This is particularly applicable to William Hill, bearing in mind that William Hill and Playtech entered into an agreement in 2008, in order to establish William Hill Online (WHO). William Hill owns 71% of the shares at WHO, while Playtech holds the remaining 29%. This may therefore be a complication to any possible deal between Ladbrokes and Playtech. At the same time and on a separate note, Ladbrokes also appears to be looking into a takeover bid for the 888 group that deals with Internet gaming and any such deal would be in the realms of ₤240m. The roots for Ladbrokes were sewn as long ago as 1886 and today, this company boasts over 2,700 betting shops. Playtech was established in 1999 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. As one of the leaders in the gaming software industry, Playtech offers an exciting range of products that includes online casino, online poker, online bingo, mobile gaming and live gaming. In addition, Playtech's services include fraud prevention, customer support and financial services.