Paddy Power Betfair set for Q1 merger after regulatory clearance

Paddy Power Betfair set for Q1 merger after regulatory clearance

Thursday, December 17, 2015 Totally Gaming
Shareholders will vote on the merger on Monday

Paddy Power and Betfair are set to complete their £5bn (€7.1bn/$7.6bn) merger in the first quarter of 2016 after receiving clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The regulatory body, which also announced that it may consider fast-tracking Ladbrokes and Gala Coral’s merger, said that it would soon release the full text of its decision on Paddy Power Betfair. 

Shareholders are expected to give their approval to the deal at separate extraordinary general meetings on Monday, December 21.

Following the decision on the deal, which was first announced in August, Paddy Power said: "As previously announced, Paddy Power plc expects the Merger to complete during the first quarter of 2016."

It was revealed in November that CMA had launched an investigation into the Paddy Power Betfair deal, with a deadline set of January 7, 2016 for a Phase 1 decision. At that time, it was suggested that a more comprehensive Phase 2 inquiry could be instigated.

The investigation was launched as CMA said it must “consider whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services”.

Meanwhile, CMA said that its Phase 1 investigation of the proposed merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral could be completed before the end of the usual 40-day period after both companies applied for the deal to be fast tracked to Phase 2.

Mergers that feature a company worth more than £70m, or if the combined business controls 25 per cent of the market, must undergo a Phase 2 investigation.

“Under the fast track reference procedure, the CMA's investigation timetable is significantly shortened,” the CMA said in a statement.

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