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Ladbrokes gambles on Coral merger

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Ladbrokes gambles on Coral merger

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Shares in British bookmaker Ladbrokes shot up 10 percent after the turf accountant confirmed it was in merger talks with the Gala Coral Group.

It is the first big gamble by newly installed chief executive Jim Mullen.

The Ladbrokes board have yet to make a final decision on the plan.

If it comes to pass the two businesses would have around 4,000 betting shops and also seek to close the gap on market leader William Hill, which has raced ahead of Ladbrokes thanks to its stronger online business.