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OFT: Sale of bookies from Betfred to Stan James remedies merger issues

The OFT has accepted that Betfred selling 25 bookmakers will remedy merger concerns.

07 August 2012

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has approved the plan for Lightcatch to divest 25 Betfred betting shops, accepting that this will deal with concerns the oversight body has regarding its completed purchase of Tote Bookmakers.

Merger and acquisition consultants at the firm should be pleased with this announcement, as it means the transaction will not be referred to the Competition Commission.

Betfred will therefore sell some of its gambling establishments to Stan James, following a consultation and assessment of Stan James' suitability as a purchaser.

Senior director and decision maker for the OFT in this case Ali Nikpay said: "The OFT believes that the sales to Stan James in each of these areas will ensure effective competition is restored in these areas."

The OFT had deemed that the acquisition would not result in any national competition concerns, although it could impact the market activity in 25 localities.

Previously, Tote Bookmakers was owned by the government and when the acquisition was announced in July 2011, the firm owned 517 shops, while Betfred owned 840.

Posted by Ron Maverick

Source: OFT press release, August 6th

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