April 12, 2010

Ladbrokes sells Italian retail business to Cogetech

Following the company’s decision to exit the Italian retail sports betting market last year, UK bookmaker Ladbrokes plc said Monday that it has agreed to sell its Italian retail betting and gaming business to an affiliate of Cogetech S.p.A, one of Italy’s leading online and land-based operators, for a total cash consideration of approximately €5.25 million.

Last August Ladbrokes announced that it would sell its Italian retail business, citing revenue growth below expectations as a result of the continued presence of illegal shops, the increased competition in the market place and the high level of further investment required to achieve critical mass.

Ladbrokes said that its Italian retail business made a loss of £9.9 million in 2009, with a carrying value of the business of £26.7 million.

Cogetech, which has more than 38,000 AWPs in 16,000 points of sale across Italy, will acquire Ladbrokes’ Italian retail business for an expected cash consideration of €5.25 million, payable on completion of the deal.

Under the sale agreement, Cogetech will also assume responsibility for approximately €18 million of guarantees currently provided by Ladbrokes, in addition to Ladbrokes’ head office in Milan, 82 shops and 51 corners located throughout Italy.

Despite its exit from the Italian retail business, Ladbrokes will continue to have a presence in Italy with an increased focus on its online offering, with the company recently becoming the first operator to join Microgaming’s new Italian poker network last month.

The sale is subject to approval from the Italian competition authority.

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