Ladbrokes Agrees to Debt Facility With Banks

Written by:
C Costigan
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Ladbrokes Agrees to Debt Facility With Banks

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Ladbrokes, Britain's second-biggest bookmaker, said it had agreed a new five-year, 540 million pounds ($847 million) debt facility with its banks.

Ladbrokes, which has 2,100 betting shops in the UK, on Friday said the new facility would mature in 2016 and replaces its existing 560 million pounds facility that was due to mature in 2013.

The company estimates that the new blended rate of interest for the group will be 7.5 percent in 2012.

"The new arrangements, together with our proven track record for strong cash generation, mean the business is on a strong footing as we continue to invest in our plan to reinvigorate Ladbrokes," Ladbrokes' chief financial officer Ian Bull said in a statement.

The company recently pulled out of talks to buy online rival Sportingbet and aborted takeover discussions with 888 earlier in the year.

Ladbrokes in October reported an increase in third-quarter underlying operating profit, helped by a rise in winnings from gambling machines, and said it was confident of meeting full-year forecasts despite a squeeze on consumer spending.

Shares in Ladbrokes, which have risen 2.6 percent in the last three months, closed at 130.80 pence on Thursday, valuing the business at around 1.2 billion pounds.

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