Ladbrokes sets Australia entry with Gaming Investments buy

Ladbrokes PLC agreed to buy online sports betting company Gaming Investments Pty Ltd. for an initial A$22.5 million ($20.5 million) to expand its operations into Australia.

Gaming Investments owns and Panda Gaming, which runs a network of racing and sports betting affiliate sites.
Labrokes said that Gaming Investments generated a small loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) after taking about A$400 million in bets in the year ended June 30 but that it expected to show a small profit before amortization for the year ending December 31, 2014. Its owners will receive additional payment based on EBITDA for the year ending June 30, 2106. Ladbrokes said its new Australian arm will be overseen by Damian Cope, international and group strategy director.
William Hill PLC chief executive Ralph Topping meanwhile told the Australian Financial Review that his company will abandon the Australian Sportingbet and Centrebet brands it acquired in a  £459 million ($715.8 million) deal in March, in part to resolve consumer confusion with Paddy Power PLC’s rival Sportsbet brand and to ramp up use of the William Hill brand. The company last month agreed to buy Tom Waterhouse N.T. Pty Ltd. in a deal worth up to A$110 million.