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CIRSA gains allowance for the acquisition of Sportium

Spain’s Competition & Markets Authority (CNMC) will now be allowing Grupo CIRSA to have the power to acquire bookmaker Sportium outright, which permits the Blackstone operator the right to be able to purchase Ladbrokes’ 50 per cent joint-venture shareholding.

The CNMC have been forced to review CIRSA’s pending acquisition of Ladbrokes’ JV stake which came to a total of €70 million. This would see CIRSA gain control of Spain’s biggest wagering network made up of 3,000 retail betting points.

Within its review of the transaction, the CNMV stated that the CIRSA had cleared some concerns, established by Spanish laws and ECV business standards, coming with regards to ‘scope for competition’, ‘market pricing’ and also further ‘potential competitor restrictions’ or ‘consumer infringements’.

Coming after their market analyses, the CNMC will now be allowing CIRSA to purchase Ladbrokes 50 per cent stake in Sportium, a Spanish sportsbook joint-venue enterprise which in 2007, was first established.

While choosing to avoid a legal battle, Ladbrokes owner, GVC Holdings confirms that it would be offloading the bookmaker’s equity in Sportium, where they have agreed to a €70 million cash settlement.

However prior to the arrangement, CIRSA governance had filed a Madrid lawsuit against GVC, where they demanded that the FTSE gambling group should be forced to sell Ladbrokes’ stake in Sportium, as its JV arrangement had been drastically altered by GVC £4 billion takeover of Ladbrokes Coral Plc.

Finally after reaching a settlement, CIRSA will now continue to utilise GVC wagering provisions as the lead technology partner of Sportium. The brand which US private equity group, Blackstone seeks to establish as CIRSA’s lead sports betting domain within the rapidly emerging South American markets.

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