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LADBROKES CONFIRMS RIGHTS ISSUE REPORT
10/8/09 - UK online and offline gambling group Ladbrokes plc has confirmed market rumours that it is to seek a rights issue to raise more cash.
In a statement Thursday the British bookie firm confirmed that it will seek to raise GBP 275 million through a discounted rights issue.
The company also revealed third quarter results showing net gaming revenue down 15 percent, compounding lower revenues recorded in the first half of the year (see previous InfoPowa report).
Ladbrokes spokesmen said the company would offer a fully underwritten issue of 301 million new shares at 95p a share, a discount of almost fifty percent on yesterday's closing market price of 181.2p.
The cash raised in the issue will be used to reduce a GBP 962 million debt burden down to a more manageable GBP 687 million and to reinforce the balance sheet with extra capital.
Explaining the weak Q3 results, the company said these were the result of a bad run of losses to football gamblers, in a season where the first 66 Premier League matches saw just four draws.
Poker net revenue over the three-month period underperformed, falling 21 percent, and operating profits slumped badly by 58 percent to GBP 22.4 million.
"The rights issue is something the board has been considering for some time," chief exec Chris Bell told reporters. "Bank lending has been difficult over the last 12 months. It has been a difficult quarter, particularly due to the football results. We have got to take the level of debt down and this puts the right capital structure in place for the future."
On the positive side, Ladbrokes casino and bingo revenues in the third quarter were up 5 percent and 3 percent respectively.
Investors will not be happy with the news that the company intends to pass on a final dividend this year, although it hopes to be better placed to pay an interim in 2010.
GBP 2.6 million savings in staffing and improved operational efficiency have been identified by the company in its e-gaming division, which will be moving to Gibraltar in order to compete from a more favourable tax regime. Further savings of some GBP 3.9 million will arise next year.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
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