City morning headlines: Ladbrokes and Coral in £2.3 billion merger

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Here’s a look at that and what else is making headlines this morning:

These stories are breaking and may develop throughout the day. Keep checking the Standard’s business pages for the latest:

Good bet?

Ladbrokes and Coral Group announced their proposed merger this morning, saying a combined group would have a net revenue of £2.1 billion and a market cap of around £2.3 billion.

The reasons for the deal included the potential for faster online growth, the creation of an extensive international portfolio of regulated businesses and cost synergies of £65 million per year.

Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine said: “This is a major strategic step for Ladbrokes which firmly accelerates our strategy to improve the customers’ experience and build recreational scale.

Rob Templeman, Chairman of Gala Coral said: “Together, the two businesses will have a strong digital presence with market leading technology, innovation and access to significant resources to drive continued growth and deliver enhanced returns for all shareholders.”

Vodafone vibrancy

Snapping up UK mobile customers with 4G services and recovering European markets, helped Vodafone beat estimates on sales growth.

Its organic service revenue grew 0.8% in the first quarter, more than the 0.1% recorded in the prior quarter and ahead of the 0.5% that was forecast.

Its boss Vittorio Colao joined the chorus calling for a break-up of BT on competition grounds

China woe

Chinese manufacturing slumps to 15-month low, according to the latest PMI figures.

The latest reading fell from 49.4 to 48.2, sending Asian shares lower.

Companies news highlights:

The green light from European regulators for first ever malaria vaccine – 28 years in development and heavily backed by Bill Gates – could be good news for drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Miner Anglo American is to cut 6000 jobs out of a 150,000-strong workforce as it battles plunging metals prices.

There are no disasters (literally) for Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley as it profits rise 16%.

The private equity backers of Terry Leahy-chaired B&M Retail sell £400 million in shares.

Irn Bru maker AG Barr takes a sales blow on the cut-throat fizzy drinks market and IT foul-ups.

Generators firm Aggreko issues a profit warning on US oil and gas weakness.

Heathrow’s first half profits soar from £23 million to £120 million, while EBITDA is up 6.3% to £748 million.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson toasts rising consumer confidence as its rental income rises almost 9%.

Pearson widens its first half losses to £115 million so the cash from the sale of the FT will come in handy.

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July 24, 2015 |
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