Gambling giant Ladbrokes Coral is in “detailed” talks over a takeover by online rival GVC over a deal which could value the group at up to £3.9bn.
Under the proposals, GVC – which owns the Bwin and Sporting Bet brands – would hold 53.5% of the combined group.
Ladbrokes Coral was formed last year following the merger of Ladbrokes and Coral.
The maximum price GVC will pay will depend on the outcome of the government’s review of gaming machines.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has said it will cap the size of stakes gamblers can make on fixed-odds betting terminals, amid concerns they may harm vulnerable people.
GVC and Ladbrokes Coral said that the review could impact on the profitability of Ladbrokes Coral’s UK business.
Ladbrokes Coral said the enlarged group would be an “online-led globally positioned” betting and gaming business that would benefit from a multi-brand, multi-channel strategy applied across some of the strongest brands in the sector.
“The enlarged group would be geographically diversified with a large portfolio of businesses across both regulated and developing markets, with the scale and resources to address the dynamics of a rapidly changing global industry.”