Ladbrokes look to Ireland

As no update of talks between Ladbrokes and 888 has been forthcoming, it has emerged today that Ladbrokes are interested in buying some or all of the betting empire owned by Dermot Desmond.

The Irish entrepreneur, who owns London City airport, has four elements to his betting empire, owning betting shops, racecourses, a state of the art casino and the betting exchange, Betdaq.

It is thought that Ladbrokes are not interested in the whole package and have put an offer on the table for the divisions that interest them, with the on-course shops said to be their main target.

A spokesman from Ladbrokes confirmed that talks had begun, but there is a disparity between the two parties in terms of price.

"Preliminary negotiations have taken place. However, there is a big gap between the sides as regards the price."

It appears as though Ladbrokes plan to expand their number of high street shops and their presence in Ireland, and have recently acquired a chain of 12 shops from John Harney and 10 from Michael and Daragh Fitzpatrick.

Editor, - 2006-11-14 11:45:50

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