Shares down as GVC hit by €200m Greek tax bill
Shares in GVC Holdings, the online gambling operator set to take over Ladbrokes Coral, fell on Friday after it emerged they had put aside €200 million (£175m) after being hit by a tax bill in Greece.
The demand from the Greek authorities relates to trading done by a subsidiary of Sportingbet in 2010 and 2011, before that company's acquisition by GVC in 2013.
The amount being asked for is €186.77m, which GVC said was substantially higher than the revenues generated by the subsidiary.
GVC said in a statement: "The board strongly disputes the basis of the assessment calculation, believing the assessed quantum to be widely exaggerated and is confident in the grounds of appeal.
"However, given the group subsidiary has to go through an appeal process, the board believes it prudent at this juncture to make a provision of approximately €200m in GVC's 2017 financial accounts to cover the period and up to the end of 2017."
Shares in GVC closed at 921.5p yesterday, down 26.5p.
The company is in the midst of a takeover of Ladbrokes Coral which could cost as much as £4 billion, although this latest news is not expected to affect GVC's plans.
However, analysts at Goodbody said the development "creates a degree of uncertainty and comes at an unhelpful time, given the proposed merger with Ladbrokes Coral".