Rank Deal Suspended

Rank Deal Suspended
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Rank Deal Suspended, Full Investigation

Just when it looked as it was so close to completing the Rank deal is now subject to a full Competition Commission investigation. The acquisition of Gala Coral Casino division would have made them the largest UK Casino Operator catapulting them above Gentings Casinos.The Office of fair Trading has raised concerns that could see the whole Rank Deal suspended until  February 3 2013.It seems that Rank have offered to do everything possible to make this a quick clean deal but it is not to be, is it just red tape and bureaucracy or is it truly for the good of the customer and a fair choice.  This must be a disappointment to their shareholders whom just had good news from there operating profits just announced. The Major Shareholder being the  Guoco Group with 74.5%.

Ali Nikpay, OFT Senior Director and Decision Maker in this case said:

Rank and Gala are two of only three large national casino operators in the UK. This merger would represent a major consolidation which could be expected to reduce competition, both locally and nationally. The high barriers to entry and expansion in the casino sector mean the loss of competition could potentially be irreversible. ‘As such, we believe it is appropriate that the Competition Commission reviews this merger in detail to ensure that the interests of consumers are protected.

Rank offered to provide undertakings in lieu of reference to the Competition Commission, including the divestment of casinos in a number of local areas. The OFT welcomes the parties’ willingness to resolve the concerns in local areas, however, the undertakings were not considered sufficiently clear-cut to address all of the concerns raised by this merger.

Rank Deal Suspended

NOTES From The OFT 

  1. Rank operates 34 casinos in the United Kingdom under brands including Grosvenor and GCasino. The Gala business being acquired operates 23 casinos, most of which currently operate under the Gala brand. In order to operate a casino it is necessary to hold a licence granted under the Gambling Act 1968 or the Gambling Act 2005.
  2. The Reference Test – the OFT has a duty to make a reference to the Competition Commission if the OFT believes that it is or may be the case that arrangements are in progress or in contemplation which, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation and the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services. Full Report

Rank Deal Suspended

Is this a major blow to the expansion of the Grosvenor Casino estate or a diversion to becoming the largest Casino Operator in the UK

Started working in the Casino Industry in 1985, just never managed to leave as yet. Visited 99% of all UK Casinos, seen them all,

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