Tuesday April 8,2014 :  LADBROKES IN FRESH AUSSIE ACQUISITION?
 
Brit betting firm the favourite in bidding to acquire Betstar
 
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that UK land and online betting group Ladbrokes is the favourite to acquire Melbourne-based Australian online bookmaker Betstar in a deal worth A$20 million to A$25 million.
 
Unidentified sources told the newspaper to expect an announcement on the deal Wednesday.
 
Ladbrokes entered the Aussie online gambling market last August with the A$22.5 million acquisition of Brisbane-based Gaming Investments, parent of the Bookmaker.com.au site . About A$ 400 million in bets annually were laid on Bookmaker.com.au before it was sold to Ladbrokes.
 
Betstar, one of a remaining handful of Australian-owned betting operators, is run by 38-year-old entrepreneur Alan Eskander, who formed the business with his bookmaker father Michael in 2007. The company has annual wagering turnover of about A$ 300 million.
 
If the Betstar deal goes through, Ladbrokes will have secured for itself a 5 percent or more presence in the highly competitive A$ 13 billion Australian wagering market.
 
The Sydney Morning Herald notes that BetEasy, run by Sportsbet founder Matthew Tripp and the subject of recent litigation, had considered buying Betstar, but has since withdrawn from contention.
 
Ladbrokes has so far declined to comment.