Gambling giant Ladbrokes is in "detailed" talks over a takeover by online rival and Foxy Bingo owner GVC in a deal worth up to £3.9 billion.
GVC - which also owns Sportingbet and PartyCasino - has tabled a cash-and-shares approach valuing Ladbrokes at 160.9p a share, with loan notes on top worth an extra 42.8p a share.
The tie-up would create an online-led gambling giant with operations worldwide.
It would see Ladbrokes Coral shareholders own around 46.5% of the combined group and GVC around 53.5%.
GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander is expected to lead the combined group, although the firms said plans for the final management line-up would be worked out over the coming weeks.
The firms said: "The enlarged group would be an online-led globally positioned betting and gaming business that would benefit from a multi-brand, multi-channel strategy applied across some of the strongest brands in the sector.
"The enlarged group would be geographically diversified with a large portfolio of businesses across both regulated and developing markets, with the scale and resources to address the dynamics of a rapidly changing global industry."