Playtech Gains After Report of Talks With Ladbrokes

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(Bloomberg News) - Playtech Ltd., a web-gambling software company, rose after the Daily Telegraph said the company is in “exploratory talks” with Ladbrokes Plc about a possible merger.

A Ladbrokes spokesman, Ciaran O’Brien, said the company had no comment on the report when contacted by telephone today. A Playtech spokeswoman, who declined to be identified, also had no comment. Playtech gained as much as 5.6 percent, the most since Dec. 14.

Ladbrokes Chief Executive Officer Richard Glynn “has a clear mandate to grow the company organically, and he’s focused on that,” O’Brien said. “The board are also looking at other opportunities.”

In December, Ladbrokes said it was in preliminary talks with online gambling company 888 Holdings Plc. The Telegraph said today Ladbrokes asked UBS AG and Greenhill & Co. to explore links with Playtech, with a merger only one possibility.

Playtech has a five-year joint-venture agreement with Ladbrokes’ bookmaking rival, William Hill Plc.

Playtech rose 12.75 pence, or 3.3 percent, to 399 pence in London. The shares have declined 5.9 percent so far this year, giving the company a market value of 968 million pounds ($1.56 billion).

David Altaner and Tim Farrand

Business/Financial News

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