The proposed plan for The Rank Group to take over Gala Casinos Limited from the Gala Coral Group has been approved by the UK Competitions Board.
A few amendments will have to be made but the Board are satisfied that the deal will not allow Rank to monopolise casinos in the UK. The deal was initially proposed in on 12th May 2012 when the conditional agreement was for Rank to acquire 3 non-operating casino licences along with 23 casinos. Although, at the time it was anticipated, that some modifications to these numbers might be required.
On 26th July 2012, a General Meeting at Rank saw the deal approved by shareholders and on 20th August 2012 it was referred by the Office of Fair Trading, to the Competition Commissioner to review the proposed merger.
After an in-depth investigation the Commission have released their final report. They have not given approval of the acquisition of all 23 casinos but have done so, for 19 of them, as well as giving the go-ahead in relation to the 3 non-operating casino licences. This is subject to reaching an agreement concerning remedy undertakings with the Commission, regarding the 4 casinos which Gala Coral would keep along with Rank’s Edinburgh non-operating licence, with the expected timescale being less than a month.
In view of the report a spokesman for Rank has said that discussions between the two groups will continue, to make the necessary amendments.