Rank Group vs Guoco Episode V: Return of the chief executive

TAGs: Guoco, Ian Burke, Rank Group

Rank chief executive Ian BurkeThe will-they, won’t-they Rank Group/Guoco takeover saga took another twist as one of those who resigned last week announced he is rejoining the firm. Chief executive Ian Burke is back at the firm as of this morning and it’s a move that further stoked the general madness. He reaffirmed that he thinks they should reject Guoco’s 150p per share offer.

To say that the situation is like a storm in a teacup is maybe a little conservative. It’s as if someone got the kettle and slammed it into the microwave with a couple of sticks of dynamite shoved inside for good measure.

Burke’s statement read, “Guoco Group’s announcement regarding the extension of the Offer and the mechanism to close it has addressed concerns that had provided significant uncertainty for shareholders. Along with the Board, I am excited about the future for Rank and providing all shareholders with the ability to benefit fully from the substantial opportunities for growth.”

There had been concerns amongst many that Guoco would delist the company and any shareholders hanging onto shares would be left with nothing. The Takeover Panel altered this so that it wouldn’t be the case. In addition, shareholders have been given an extended period during which to make their decisions on the takeover with the date now set by Guoco for July 15.

As for Rank, the company still say that the offer “substantially undervalues” the business and are urging any shareholders that decided to accept the offer to withdraw immediately. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. With Rank seemingly changing its mind four times already it probably won’t be long before they change tack once again.


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