CMA expects provisional ruling on Gala Coral-Ladbrokes deal in May

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it will release a provisional decision on the proposed merger of Ladbrokes and Gala Coral by the middle of next month.

The regulatory body had been due to make an initial ruling on the deal by April 18, although the City AM newspaper last week reported that a decision had been delayed due to issues related to criteria regarding branch disposal required in order for the merger to go through.

Gala Coral and Ladbrokes had been expected to sell between 300 and 500 of their land-based branches, although a source cited by the newspaper said that this number may increase to 1,000 shops.

The CMA said it is still on track to make a final decision on the merger by June 24.

In response to the announcement, a Gala Coral spokesperson told City AM: “We have seen the CMA’s updated timetable for its inquiry into our proposed merger with Ladbrokes.

“Importantly the date for the final decision remains unchanged at 24 June and we continue to work closely with the Authority to provide any assistance required.”

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