Tuesday February 19,2013 : COMPETITION BOARD GIVES RANK QUALIFIED GO-AHEAD ON GALA CASINO ACQUISITION
 
Parties are continuing discussions on appropriate amendments to the terms of acquisition deal
 
The Rank Group plc is pushing ahead with its acquisition negotiations with Gala Casinos Limited after receiving the all-clear from the UK Competitions Board this week.
 
On 12 May 2012 Rank announced that it had conditionally agreed to acquire Gala Casinos Limited from Gala Coral Group Limited, acquiring 23 casinos and three non-operating casino licences.
 
The agreement anticipated the possibility of the Office of Fair Trading requiring a limited number of casinos to be excluded from the deal.  Rank shareholder approval for the acquisition was obtained at a general meeting of Rank held on 26 July 2012.
 
On 20 August last year the OFT referred the deal to the Competition Commission for an in-depth merger review, and as a result the original acquisition agreement lapsed the following month.
 
Back to the present; on Tuesday the Competition Commission published its final report following the completion of its review of the deal, approving the acquisition in respect of the purchase of 19 of the 23 casinos originally planned in the agreement, along with the three non-operating licences (subject to agreeing in the next few weeks appropriate remedy undertakings with the Competition Commission in regard to Rank's non-operating licence in Edinburgh and the four casinos to be retained by Gala Coral).
 
A Rank spokesman said Tuesday that the company and Gala Coral are continuing discussions toward appropriate amendments to the terms of the acquisition deal in light of the Competition Commission's report.