Rank Group will have to get shot of six casinos if they want to become the largest casino business operator on UK shores. ThisIsMoney report Rank’s takeover of Gala Coral’s casinos has been scuppered by the Competition Commission’s findings relating to a number of locations in the UK. Concerns were raised about takeovers in Bristol, Liverpool, Stockton-on-Tees and Aberdeen with the merger now subject to certain conditions. Rank will either have to arrange buyers for their premises in the six cities mentioned or acquire just 17 of the 23 Gala Coral casinos involved in the deal. This Is Money report that Rank favors the latter option and there’s no word yet from the other side of the deal as to what their view on the findings are.
Rank and Gala have been trying to come to an agreement for the 23 venues since January and the first set of talks over a £250million ended abruptly two months later after they couldn’t reach an agreement. The latest deal, which was first discussed and agreed in May, is for the smaller amount of £205m and Rank had expected for it to be completed in September.
If six casinos are taken out of the deal the price will be significantly lower and given the two have quibbled over a price in the past it’s not going to be good news that the Competition Commission has recommended changes. One company that will be laughing on the other side of its face if things go tits up is Genting, who will at a slim disadvantage if Rank manages to gain a significant leg up on them. If it all falls through it’ll leave a pretty rank taste in the mouth of two firms that’s for sure.