Competition Commission clears way for Rank Group to purchase Gala Casinos
The Rank Group Plc (“Rank”) announced that it had conditionally agreed to acquire Gala Casinos Limited (“GCL”) from Gala Coral Group Limited (“Gala Coral”). That conditional agreement (the “Original Agreement”) envisaged Rank purchasing 23 casinos and three non-operating casino licences (the “Proposed Acquisition”).
The Original Agreement anticipated the possibility of the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) requiring a limited number of casinos to be excluded from the Proposed Acquisition.
Rank shareholder approval for the Proposed Acquisition was obtained at a general meeting of Rank held on 26 July 2012.On 20 August 2012 the OFT referred the Proposed Acquisition to the Competition Commission for an in-depth merger review and therefore the Original Agreement lapsed on 19 September 2012.
The Competition Commission has published its final report following completion of its review of the Proposed Acquisition. Rank is pleased that it will be able to proceed with the purchase of 19 of the 23 casinos originally comprised within the Proposed Acquisition, as well as three non-operating licences (subject to agreeing in the next few weeks appropriate remedy undertakings with the Competition Commission in relation to Rank’s non-operating licence in Edinburgh and the four casinos to be retained by Gala Coral).
Rank and Gala Coral are continuing their discussions in relation to appropriate amendments to the terms of the Proposed Acquisition in light of today’s Competition Commission report.
Rank expects to make a further announcement shortly.