Ladbroke to change name to Hilton

LADBROKE PLANS to change its name to Hilton Group to reflect its focus on hotels after the completion of its pounds 1.2bn acquisition of the Scottish-based Stakis hotel group. The change will also underscore its alliance with US partner Hilton Hotels. The Stakis purchase means the company will generate more than two-thirds of profits from hotels.

Ladbroke shares closed 10.25p up at 296.25p as investors hoped the focus on hotels would improve the company's market rating. The Ladbroke name will stay on its 1,900 UK high-street betting shops.

Ladbroke will seek shareholder approval for the change of name at its annual meeting on 14 May.