UK gaming and betting company Rank Group Plc (LON:RNK) said it had agreed an amended deal with Gala Coral Group Ltd, under which it would buy its rival’s unit Gala Casino 1 Limited, owner of 19 casinos and three non-operating licences, for GBP179m (USD270.3m/EUR207.3m), subject to adjustments.
The buyer had to exclude four casinos in Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Stockton-on-Tees and Gibraltar from the original GBP205m deal, agreed in May 2012, in order to comply with the requirements of the UK’s Competition Commission (CC).
Rank, which is acting via its unit Rank Group Gaming Division Limited, will also have to sell its cold licence in Edinburgh to an upfront buyer approved by the CC or it will also be prohibited from buying the Gala casino in Edinburgh.
The combination is seen to create the UK’s largest casino operator by number of casinos with 54 operating venues and 12 non-operating licences. The deal, to be funded with debt, is also expected to increase the the company’s earnings in the first full financial year, the buyer said.
Rank added that it planned to invest some GBP25m in the branding and IT systems of the acquired assets over the next two years.