Ladbrokes and Coral merger could see 400 store closures

Merger proposed for Ladbrokes and Gala Coral
Merger proposed for Ladbrokes and Gala Coral

A proposed merger has put the future of Ladbrokes and Coral stores into doubt.

Up to 400 stores may go as a condition of a £2.3bn plan, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said.

The companies have numerous stores across Sussex which will be put at threat if the merger goes ahead, especially in towns that currently have both a Corals and a Ladbrokes, including Horsham, Chichester, Bognor Regis, Eastbourne and Worthing.

Gala Coral has posted a statement on its website that says: “Gala Coral notes the announcement from the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) that it is provisionally minded to clear the proposed merger between Coral Group and Ladbrokes plc subject to agreeing appropriate remedies.

“Gala Coral will continue to work with the CMA in order to agree these remedies, but the CMA has indicated that the sale of 350-400 shops would enable a final determination in favour of the proposed merger.”

Ladbrokes and Coral are currently the second and third-biggest betting operators after William Hill.

The CMA is aiming to publish its final report by the end of July.