Court sanction of scheme of arrangement

Jay DossetterNews

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN, INTO OR FROM AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF THAT JURISDICTION

RECOMMENDED OFFER
FOR
LADBROKES CORAL GROUP PLC (“LADBROKES CORAL”)
BY
GVC HOLDINGS PLC (“GVC”)
TO BE EFFECTED BY MEANS OF A SCHEME OF ARRANGEMENT

UNDER PART 26 OF THE COMPANIES ACT 2006

Court sanction of scheme of arrangement

Ladbrokes Coral and GVC are pleased to announce that the High Court of Justice of England and Wales has today sanctioned the scheme of arrangement pursuant to Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 (the “Scheme“) by which the recommended offer by GVC for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Ladbrokes Coral is being implemented.

Timing of implementation of the Acquisition will be in accordance with the Timetable of Principal Events set out in the Scheme Document published by Ladbrokes Coral on 9 February 2018 (the “Scheme Document“) and the combined prospectus and class 1 circular published by GVC on 9 February 2018 (the “Prospectus“) and repeated in the announcement on 21 March 2018. The Effective Date of the Scheme is expected to be 28 March 2018 and a further announcement shall be made at that time. Scheme Shareholders who are on the register of members of Ladbrokes Coral at the Scheme Record Time (being 6.00 p.m. tomorrow, 27 March 2017) will be entitled to receive the offer consideration of 32.7 pence in cash, 0.141 New GVC Shares and a contingent entitlement of up to 42.8 pence, plus an upward adjustment for the time value of money, in principal value of Loan Notes by way of a CVR linked to the outcome of the Triennial Review in respect of each Ladbrokes Coral Share they hold at the Scheme Record Time.

Suspension and cancellation of Ladbrokes Coral Shares

Dealings in Ladbrokes Coral Shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities and the listing of Ladbrokes Coral Shares on the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority will be suspended with effect from 7.30 a.m. on Wednesday 28 March 2018 and the delisting of Ladbrokes Coral Shares from the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and the cancellation of the admission to trading of Ladbrokes Coral Shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities, which have been applied for, will take effect by no later than 8.00 a.m. on Thursday 29 March 2018.

Admission of the New GVC Shares

An application has been made for up to 273,000,000 shares of €0.01 each in the capital of GVC to be admitted to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities at 8.00 a.m. on Thursday 29 March 2018.

Unless otherwise defined, capitalised terms used in this Announcement but not otherwise defined  have the meanings given to them in the Scheme Document.

All times set out in this announcement are London times unless otherwise stated.

Enquiries

GVC 
Kenneth Alexander, Chief Executive Officer+44 (0) 1624 652 559
Paul Miles, Chief Financial Officer+44 (0) 20 3938 0079
Nick Batram, Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Strategy+44 (0) 20 3938 0066
  
Houlihan Lokey (Financial Adviser to GVC)+44 (0) 20 7839 3355
David Sola 
Dilshad Kunnummal 
Quynh Ho 
  

Investec (Corporate Broker to GVC)

+44 (0) 20 7597 5970
Chris Treneman 
Garry Levin 
Carlton Nelson 
  
Buchanan (PR Adviser to GVC) 
David Rydell+44 (0) 7798 646021
Henry Harrison-Topham+44 (0) 7872 604467
Chris Lane+44 (0) 7899 793612
  
Ladbrokes Coral+44 (0) 20 8429 7776
Paul Bowtell, Chief Financial Officer 
Paul Tymms, Director of Investor Relations 
  
Greenhill (Financial Adviser to Ladbrokes Coral)+44 (0) 20 7198 7400
David Wyles 
Pieter-Jan Bouten 
Michael Lord 
  
UBS (Financial Adviser and Corporate Broker to Ladbrokes Coral)+44 (0) 20 7568 1000
William Vereker 
John Woolland 
Jonathan Retter 
  
Deutsche Bank (Financial Adviser and Corporate Broker to Ladbrokes Coral)+44 (0) 207 545 8000
Matt Hall 
Neil Collingridge 
  
Tulchan (PR Adviser to Ladbrokes Coral)+44 (0) 207 353 4200
David Allchurch 
Will Smith 

Important notices

Greenhill & Co. International LLC (“Greenhill”) is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom. Greenhill is acting as financial adviser to Ladbrokes Coral and for no one else in connection with the Acquisition and the matters set out in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Ladbrokes Coral for providing the protections afforded to clients of Greenhill, nor for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition or matters set out in this announcement.

UBS Limited (“UBS”) is authorised by the PRA and regulated by the FCA and the PRA in the United Kingdom. UBS is acting as financial adviser and corporate broker to Ladbrokes Coral and no one else for the purpose of the consideration of the Acquisition and will not be responsible to anyone other than Ladbrokes Coral for providing the protections offered to clients of UBS nor for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition, this announcement or any transaction, arrangement or other matter referred to herein.

Deutsche Bank AG (“Deutsche Bank”) is authorised under German Banking Law (competent authority: European Central Bank) and, in the United Kingdom, by the PRA. It is subject to supervision by the European Central Bank and by BaFin, Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, and is subject to limited regulation in the United Kingdom by the PRA and FCA. Deutsche Bank is acting as financial adviser and corporate broker to Ladbrokes Coral and no one else for the purpose of the consideration of the Acquisition and will not be responsible to anyone other than Ladbrokes Coral for providing the protections offered to clients of Deutsche Bank nor for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition, this announcement or any Acquisition, arrangement or other matter referred to herein.  Neither Deutsche Bank nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Deutsche Bank in connection with the Acquisition, this announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

Houlihan Lokey EMEA, LLP (“Houlihan Lokey”), which is authorised and regulated by the FCA, is acting for GVC and no one else in connection with the matters set out in this announcement.  In connection with such matters, Houlihan Lokey, its affiliates and their respective partners, directors, officers, employees and agents will not regard any person other than GVC as their client, nor will they be responsible to anyone other than GVC for providing the protections afforded to their clients or for providing advice in relation to the contents of this announcement or any other matter referred to in this announcement.

Investec Bank plc (“Investec”) which is authorised by the PRA and regulated by the FCA and the PRA, is acting for GVC and no one else in connection with the matters set out in this announcement.  In connection with such matters, Investec, its affiliates and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents will not regard any person other than GVC as their client, nor will they be responsible to anyone other than GVC for providing the protections afforded to their clients or for providing advice in relation to the contents of this announcement or any other matter referred to in this announcement.

Forward-looking statements

This announcement may contain certain “forward looking statements” regarding the financial position, financial performance, business strategy or plans for future operations of the Ladbrokes Coral Group, the GVC Group or the Enlarged Group.  All statements other than statements of historical fact included in any document may be forward looking statements.  Forward looking statements also often use words such as “believe”, “expect”, “estimate”, “intend”, “anticipate” and words of a similar meaning.  By their nature, forward looking statements involve risk and uncertainty that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by them.  Much of the risk and uncertainty relates to factors that are beyond the companies’ abilities to control or estimate precisely, such as future market conditions and the behaviours of other market participants, and therefore undue reliance should not be placed on such statements which speak only as at the date of this document.  Neither Ladbrokes Coral nor GVC assumes any obligation to, and do not intend to, revise or update these forward looking statements, except as required pursuant to applicable law or regulation.

Disclosure requirements of the Takeover Code

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Takeover Code, any person who is interested in 1 per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified.  An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person’s interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s).  An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th business day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th business day following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified.  Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Takeover Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1 per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror.  A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person’s interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s), save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8.  A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the business day following the date of the relevant dealing.

If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3.

Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4).

Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Takeover Panel’s website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified.  You should contact the Panel’s Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.

Further Information

This announcement is for information purposes only. It is not intended to and does not constitute, or form part of, any offer, invitation or the solicitation of any offer to purchase, otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of any securities, or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction, pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. The Acquisition will be effected solely by means of the Scheme Document which contains the full terms and conditions of the Acquisition.

This announcement has been prepared for the purposes of complying with English law, the rules of the London Stock Exchange and the Takeover Code and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws and regulations of any other jurisdictions.

Information for Overseas Persons

Unless otherwise determined by Ladbrokes Coral and GVC or required by the Takeover Code, and permitted by applicable law and regulation, the Acquisition will not be made available, directly or indirectly, in, into or from a Restricted Jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction.

Accordingly, copies of this announcement and all documents relating to the Acquisition are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in, into or from a jurisdiction where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction, and persons receiving this announcement and all other documents relating to the Acquisition (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not mail or otherwise distribute or send them in, into or from jurisdictions where to do so would violate the laws in that jurisdiction.

It is the responsibility of each Overseas Holder to satisfy himself as to the full observance of the laws and regulatory requirements of the relevant jurisdiction in connection with the Acquisition, including obtaining any governmental, exchange control or other consents which may be required, or the compliance with other necessary formalities which are required to be observed and the payment of any issue, transfer or other taxes due in such jurisdiction.

This announcement, the Scheme Document and its accompanying documents (excluding, for the avoidance of doubt, the Prospectus) have been prepared in connection with a proposal in relation to a scheme of arrangement pursuant to, and for the purpose of complying with, English law and the Takeover Code and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if these documents had been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside England and Wales.  The Prospectus has been prepared in connection with the issuance and admission to trading and listing of the New GVC Shares on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities.  The Prospectus is required to be published to effect the admission of the New GVC Shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List and to the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities.

The availability of New GVC Shares, CVRs and Loan Notes under the Acquisition to Ladbrokes Coral Shareholders who are not resident in the United Kingdom may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are resident. The Mix and Match Facility has not been extended to (i) Ladbrokes Coral ADR Holders; (ii) Restricted Overseas Holders; or (iii) Overseas Holders with a registered address in, or who are citizens, residents or nationals of, a Restricted Jurisdiction, and no Form of Election will be or has been sent to any such persons. Accordingly, the Mix and Match Facility has not been made available to any such persons, and any purported Mix and Match Election by them will be void. A Mix and Match Facility has not been offered in respect of the CVRs. Further details are set out in paragraphs 2(b), 19 and 20 of Part 2 (Explanatory Statement) of the Scheme Document.

Notice to US investors

The New GVC Shares, the CVRs and any Loan Notes issued pursuant to the terms of the CVR Instrument have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act or under the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States and, accordingly, may not be offered, sold, resold, delivered, distributed or otherwise transferred, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States without an exemption from registration under the US Securities Act.

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any New GVC Shares, CVRs or Loan Notes, nor shall there be any sale of the New GVC Shares, CVRs or Loan Notes in any state of the United States in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to qualification under the securities laws of any such state. The New GVC Shares and the CVRs are expected to be issued in the United States in reliance upon the exemption from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act provided by Section 3(a)(10) thereof.  The Loan Notes (if any) issued to CVR Holders in exchange for the CVRs to be issued pursuant to the Scheme are expected to be issued in reliance upon the exemption from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act provided by Section 3(a)(9) thereof. Ladbrokes Coral ADR Holders should refer to paragraph 20 of Part 2 (Explanatory Statement) of the Scheme Document.

For the purposes of qualifying for the exemptions from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act afforded by Section 3(a)(10), Ladbrokes Coral will advise the Court through Counsel that GVC will rely on the Section 3(a)(10) exemption based on the Court’s sanctioning of the Scheme.

Scheme Shareholders (whether or not US persons) who are or will be affiliates (within the meaning of the US Securities Act) of Ladbrokes Coral or GVC prior to, or of GVC after, the Effective Date will be subject to certain restrictions on transfers of the New GVC Shares and the CVRs received pursuant to the Scheme and the Loan Notes (if any) to be issued in exchange for the CVRs. Otherwise, the New GVC Shares, the CVRs and the Loan Notes generally should not be treated as ”restricted securities” within the meaning of Rule 144(a)(3) under the US Securities Act and persons who receive securities under the Scheme or Loan Notes in exchange for CVRs (other than affiliates) may resell them without restriction under the US Securities Act. For a description of these and certain further restrictions on offers, sales and transfers of the New GVC Shares, the CVRs and the Loan Notes and the distribution of this document, and additional information applicable to US shareholders, see paragraph 19 of Part 2 (Explanatory Statement) of the Scheme Document.

The receipt of New GVC Shares pursuant to the Acquisition by a US Shareholder may be a taxable transaction for US federal income tax purposes and under applicable state and local, as well as foreign and other, tax laws. Each Ladbrokes Coral Shareholder is urged to consult his independent professional adviser immediately regarding the tax consequences of the Acquisition.

It may be difficult for US Shareholders and Ladbrokes Coral ADR Holders to enforce their rights and claims arising out of the US federal securities laws, since GVC and Ladbrokes Coral are located in countries other than the United States, and some or all of their officers and directors may be residents of countries other than the United States.  US Shareholders may not be able to sue a non‐US company or its officers or directors in a non‐US court for violations of the US securities laws.  Further, it may be difficult to compel a non‐US company and its affiliates to subject themselves to a US court’s judgment.

None of the securities referred to in this announcement have been approved or disapproved by the SEC, any state securities commission in the United States or any other US regulatory authority, nor have such authorities passed upon or determined the adequacy or accuracy of the information contained in this document.  Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offence in the United States.

Ladbrokes Coral ADR Holders should refer to paragraph 20 of Part 2 (Explanatory Statement) of the Scheme Document.

Information relating to Ladbrokes Coral Shareholders

Please be aware that addresses, electronic addresses and certain other information provided by Ladbrokes Coral Shareholders, persons with information rights and other relevant persons for the receipt of communications from Ladbrokes Coral may be provided to GVC during the Offer Period as required under Section 4 of Appendix 4 of the Takeover Code.

Publication on websites and availability of hard copies

A copy of this announcement will be made available, subject to any restrictions relating to persons resident in certain jurisdictions, on GVC’s website at www.gvc-plc.com/html/investor/welcome.asp and at Ladbrokes Coral’s website at www.ladbrokescoralplc.com/investors. For the avoidance of doubt, the contents of the websites referred to in this announcement are not incorporated into and does not form part of this announcement.

Subject to certain restrictions relating to persons in Restricted Jurisdictions: (a) GVC Shareholders and persons with information rights may request a hard copy of this announcement by contacting Robert Hoskin, Group Head of Legal, Suite 6, Atlantic Suites, Europort Avenue, Gibraltar, tel: +350 200 78700; and (b) Ladbrokes Coral Shareholders and persons with information rights may request a hard copy of this announcement by contacting Ladbrokes Coral’s Registrars, Computershare, tel: +44 (0) 370 702 0127. Those persons may also request that all future documents, announcements and information to be sent to you in relation to the Acquisition should be in hard copy form.