Following extensive speculation across gambling news portals and the mainstream media, as well as the subsequent confirmation two weeks ago, Ladbrokes has finally made it official: they are buying the Irish betting exchange Betdaq.
Ladbrokes, the largest betting company licensed under UK gambling laws, expects to boost its online sports betting offering with this purchase and plans to establish itself firmly beyond the fixed-odds betting channel.
Company CEO Richard Glynn had the following to say about the move: “Whilst the main focus of our digital growth strategy continues to progress well, this bolt-on acquisition provides us with an exciting opportunity to grow our share of wallet through the creation of a differentiated and comprehensive sports betting proposition for customers, and also supports our drive for improved liability management.”
The price tag was set at EUR 30 mln for Betdaq, the second largest betting exchange operator after Betfair. (The gap between first and second place is extremely wide in this case, since Betdaq controls approximately 7% of Internet betting market in the UK and Ireland, while Betfair has around 90%).
Half of this price will be paid in Ladbrokes shares to Betdaq founder and owner, financier Dermot Desmond, the rest coming from Ladbrokes’s own cash reserves.