LONDON Oct 9 Online gaming firm Sportingbet
is close to agreeing the sale of its Turkish gambling
business to GVC, clearing an obstacle to Ladbrokes'
takeover of the company, according to the Sunday Times.
AIM-listed GVC revealed in August that it was in
exclusive talks to buy Sportingbet's Turkish-language website.
A disposal of the business would pave the way for Ladbrokes
to buy Sportingbet to strengthen its online offering.
Ladbrokes has been in talks with Sportingbet since June, but
the business in Turkey, where unlicensed websites are illegal,
was seen by analysts as a stumbling block.
The high-street bookmaker, which has until Oct. 17 to table
a bid for Sportingbet, has pulled out of previous deals because
of its aversion to operating in unregulated territories.
A spokesman for Sportingbet said talks with both companies
were ongoing. Ladbrokes declined to comment.