GVC ended a stellar 2017 with another transformational deal, agreeing terms on the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral Group for a consideration of up to £3.9bn. Chief executive Kenneth Alexander discusses the company’s progress with Gaming Intelligence.

In December 2012, GVC Holdings was announced as the junior partner in William Hill’s big-budget deal for Sportingbet’s Spanish and Australian assets. Fast-forward five years and it is set to snap up Ladbrokes Coral Group. Oh, and in between it bought bwin.party.

Kenneth Alexander will end 2018 in charge of bwin, PartyGaming, Ladbrokes, Gala Bingo and Coral, five of the industry’s best-known brands. It’s the sort of rapid, stellar rise that invites comparisons with the David Baazov-era Amaya.

But unlike Baazov, Alexander is an industry veteran, and combines the former’s strategic nous with remarkable operational skills that have seen him turn numerous distressed assets into thriving businesses. He took the unwanted parts of Sportingbet and transformed them into something resembling the company in its heyday.

He then took one of the industry’s M&A cautionary tales, bwin.party, and brought it back to the industry summit.

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