uying Betdaq, though only a relatively small deal, will at least bring to an end Glynn’s reputation for balking at any acquisition. He walked out on talks to buy 888 and Sportingbet, pulled out of the race for Australian Centrebet and had an abortive flirtation with Playtech over a possible online tie-up.
Talks with Betdaq began over a year ago but were characterised as “only a discussion about technology supply”. Ladbrokes admitted earlier this month that they had morphed into merger discussions. The pair already have a commercial relationship, with Ladbrokes using the betting exchange to hedge bets. Analysts say the challenge for Ladbrokes is turning Betdaq into anything resembling a rival to Betfair, which is 20 times its size.
The bookmaker sees the exchange as a way of hanging on to current customers who place some of their bets with Betfair, whose peer-to-peer model can offer better odds for some types of wagers. However, that may require considerable marketing spend.
Betdaq generated profit after tax of 2.8 million euros in the year to the end of December and had gross assets of 35.4 million euros. Of the 30 million euros, 15 million will be in Ladbrokes shares. Ladbrokes will also take a 10% stake in TBH, the technology provider to Betdaq.