Addleshaw Goddard and Ashurst win roles as GVC takes £3.9bn punt on Ladbrokes Coral

Addleshaw Goddard and Ashurst are playing the lead roles as GVC Holdings offers £3.9bn to buy rival bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral.

The two companies announced today that they are in detailed discussions over a tie-up.

Isle of Man-incorporated GVC is the company behind gambling brands such as Foxy Bingo, Bwin and Sportingbet.

Addleshaw Goddard is advising longstanding client GVC on the deal with City corporate partner Nick Pearey in the lead role.

Previously, Pearey has acted for GVC on a number of transactions including its acquisition of Bwin in 2015 for £908m, its joint venture with Scandinavian gambling company Betit in 2014 and its acquisition of Sportingbet in 2012.

Ashurst is acting for London-based Ladbrokes Coral on the deal fielding a team led by London corporate partners Simon Beddow, Tom Mercer and James Fletcher.

The firm previously advised Gala Coral on the £2.3bn merger that formed Ladbrokes Coral in 2015.

Jones Day is also playing a role on the deal, advising investment bank Houlihan Lokey in its capacity as financial adviser to GVC. Its team is being led by corporate partner Leon Ferera with support from finance partner Michael Pabst and private equity partner Neil Ferguson.

It is understood that Slaughter and May, which acted for Ladbrokes on the 2015 deal, was not able to advise the company this time as it represents rival bookmaker William Hill. In August, the magic circle firm won a place on William Hill’s UK legal panel.

Last year, William Hill was advised by Slaughters as the company rejected a £3.2bn takeover bid from 888 Holdings and Rank Group. Allen & Overy and Norton Rose Fulbright advised 888 Holdings and Rank Group respectively.