Sportingbet and Unibet to Merge?

The merged group would worth GBP600 million

According to today's reports of The Sunday Times, there a chance that an online gambling operator, Sportingbet will merge with its Swedish counterpart Unibet. The company is considering a merger that would worth GBP 600 million, and the two companies already held preliminary negotiations.

The Sunday Times further reported that next steps can be expected soon, but that the process will require a number of discussions before the deal is closed. The newspaper's anonymous source stated that an official announcement should not be expected before 2011.

On the other side, Sportingbet's pre-tax profits noted a drop to £6.9 million from £22.3 million in the year. However, this also included a settlement with the US Department of Justice, worth £22.8 million, over an investigation into alleged illegal internet gambling. According to analysts, the agreement will clear the way for potential mergers or takeovers, and it also implies that the US authorities will not prosecute the company for taking online bets made by Americans between 1998 and 2006.

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