Kim Howells accepts undertakings from Hilton Group

United Kingdom
Kim Howells, the Competition and Consumer Affairs Minister, announced on the 27 October that he had accepted undertakings from the Hilton Group plc (formerly Ladbroke Group plc) which prevents them from re-acquiring control of the assets of Coral's betting business, except in certain circumstances. His decision is in accordance with the advice of the DGFT.

The undertakings follow an adverse MMC report published by the Secretary of State on 23 September 1998 in relation to Ladbroke's acquisition of the Coral betting business. The Secretary of State had decided to prohibit the merger and Hilton Group subsequently disposed of the Coral business to Deutsche Bank.

Under the terms of the undertakings, Hilton Group has agreed not to hold any interest in the Coral betting business. The undertakings also prevent Hilton Group from re-acquiring assets of the Coral betting business where this would result in a qualifying merger under the FTA 1973, unless the DGFT gives his prior consent.

Source: DTI Press Release P/99/859