* Ladbrokes in talks to buy betting exchange
* Company failed to conclude larger online takeovers in 2011
LONDON Jan 7 British bookmaker Ladbrokes
is in talks to buy the betting exchange of Dublin-based
Betdaq to bolster online operations that have struggled to keep
pace with rivals.
Online gambling is the fastest growing sector of the market
but remains highly fragmented and is seen as ripe for
A report in The Times newspaper on Saturday said Ladbrokes,
Britain's second largest bookmaker, was weeks away from a 30
million pound ($48.1 million) deal with Betdaq, founded in 2000
by Irish businessman Dermot Desmond.
Ladbrokes is interested in Betdaq's betting exchange, which
allows gamblers to bet against one another, rather than using
the odds set by the bookmaker.
"The Board notes repeated press speculation regarding
Betdaq. Ladbrokes enjoys a close commercial cooperation with
Betdaq and can confirm discussions regarding a potential future
acquisition," the company said in a brief statement on Monday.
Ladbrokes had unsuccessful takeover talks with online
gambling companies 888 Holdings and Sportingbet
Larger rival William Hill last month agreed a
485-million-pound deal to buy Sportingbet in partnership with
smaller GVC Holdings.
Profit at Ladbrokes digital business halved in the first six
months of 2012. As a response, it has stepped up investment in
technology and appointed a new director for that part of the