According to Spanish business news source OK Diario, US multi-national private equity firm Blackstone is preparing a bid for Grupo Codere, Spain’s largest gambling operator. The private equity firm is reported to be seeking to create the world’s leading Spanish-language gambling/betting group, merging its recently acquired Grupo CIRSA asset with Codere’s enterprise.

By merging Codere and CIRSA assets, it is anticipated that Blackstone will create the outright gambling leader in multiple LatAm territories (Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Dominica and Costa Rica) and Spain.

However, whilst the proposition will likely gain the support of shareholders, Spanish insiders believe that Blackstone’s merger will face several regulatory hurdles. Chief among those will be convincing South American labour courts and Spain’s competition authority of the deal’s all-around viability.

Last April, Blackstone which holds multiple investments within the European gambling sector, made its entry into the Spanish market, acquiring legacy operator CIRSA for a reported €2bn valuation.

Spanish analysts believe that now may be the optimal time for Blackstone to make its move on Codere, as the company has recently restructured its debt-capacity, operations and governance make-up reducing the influence of the enterprise founding Martinez Sampedro family.