Rank has finally relented in the face of Hong Kong-based Guoco and accepted a bid that “substantially” undervalues what the firm is worth. There has been a great deal of ructions over the past two months thanks to Guoco’s undervaluation but the takeover worth £586million looks to have been accepted. It values the company’s shares a 150p each. After an impressive set of results revealed the progress that Rank Interactive is making, Evolution Securities analysts James Hollins urged shareholders to reject the offer, commenting that the offer “falls more than 20% short of our 185p price target.” The board also added “this position is reinforced by the trading update announced today”.
Rank had been advised by Goldman Sachs to accept the offer, as they couldn’t guarantee that Guoco wouldn’t choose to cancel the listing if shares in public hands fell below 25%. Rank said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that, “This would significantly reduce the liquidity and marketability of Rank shares which have not been accepted into the offer and the value of any such Rank shares may be significantly adversely affected as a consequence.”
In other news, the French gaming operator and former monopoly provider, Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU), will begin to separate its online and land-based hose racing betting activities. According to iGaming France, Pierre Pages, PMU Secretary General, the operator has consulted the French Competition Commission following advice that it issued earlier this year. It included criticisms that PMU, along with Francais des Jeux (FDJ), had retained an advantage thanks to the monopolies the two held prior to regulation.