Tote and Stanley lead race for Coral
Monday 16 November 1998
The two bidders are expected to be included in a shortlist to be drawn up this weekend by Ladbroke alongside a number of venture capitalists. The hotels-to-casinos group has also received a number of offers from financial buyers, tipped to include Nikko, Charterhouse, CVC and Prudential, for the 891 Coral shops.
Industry sources said the venture capitalists were likely to have offered considerably more than the Tote, which is state-owned, and Stanley Leisure - with bids of up to pounds 400m - in the hope of getting a seat at the negotiating table.
It is thought that if Stanley Leisure, the UK's fourth largest betting chain, wins the auction then it would change the name of most of its shops to Coral. The company believes that the Coral brand name is more attractive to punters.
Ladbroke bought the Coral chain from the brewing giant Bass for pounds 363m last December. However, the sale was blocked by the Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson on competition grounds two months ago.
Mr Mandelson ruled the Coral purchase would have given Ladbroke a dominant position in the pounds 6bn-a-year UK betting market. Ladbroke is already the country's largest bookmaker with 1,900 shops, and a takeover of Coral would have given it 30 per cent of the market. Mr Mandelson ordered Ladbroke to sell the shops within six months, preferably to a single buyer to create a sizeable "third force" behind Ladbroke and William Hill.
The Tote and Stanley Leisure are expected to argue that a sale to a trade buyer would be the best way to comply with the minister's wishes.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...