CNMC Allows Grupo CIRSA’s Takeover Of Sportium

The Competition & Markets Authority of Spain (CNMC) will allow Grupo CIRSA to buy Sportium bookmaker directly, enabling the company owned by Blackstone to purchase Ladbrokes 50 percent joint venture shareholding.

The CNMC had been forced to review the proposed € 70 million purchase of Ladbrokes JV interest in Sportium by CIRSA, which would see the largest wagering network of 3,000 retail betting points made up by CIRSA dominate Spain.

In its analysis of the deal, the CNMC notes that CIRSA has clarified concerns regarding’ scope for competition,” market pricing’ and further’ potential competitor restrictions’ or’ consumer infringements’ as defined by Spanish laws and EC business standards.

Following its market analyses, the CNMC will allow CIRSA to purchase a 50 percent stake in Sportium from Ladbrokes, a Spanish sportsbook joint venture that was established in 2007.

To avoid a legal battle, Ladbrokes owner GVC Holdings announced this summer that it would offload Sportium’s bookmaker’s equity by committing to a cash settlement of € 70 million.

Before the deal, CIRSA governance had filed a lawsuit against GVC in Madrid requesting that the FTSE betting firm be forced to sell Ladbrokes interest in Sportium as its JV agreement had been drastically altered by GVC taking over Ladbrokes Coral Plc in £ 4 billion.

CIRSA will continue to use GVC wagering clauses to reach a settlement as Sportium’s leading technology partner, the brand that US private equity firm Blackstone seeks to establish as the leading sports betting domain for CIRSA in developing South American markets.