Rank, operator of Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casino, made an offer of £ 115.3 million (USD 143.6 million) to purchase the entire Stride Gaming share capital in May, but requested approval by the UK regulator to proceed with the deal. Now, with the authorization of the UKGC, Rank and Stride will meet next week for a hearing at the Royal Court of Jersey to finalize the acquisition. The hearing is scheduled for 2 October, with deal stakeholders anticipating to conclude the transaction by 4 October.
Satisfying its regulatory requisites, Stride Gaming confirms that it will cease trading on the London AIM (Alternative Investment Market) exchange on 4 October, with the company cancelling its AIM admission outright on 7 October.
“Stride and Rank are pleased to announce that the UKGC has given notice in writing that it has determined to approve the Offer and, as such, the relevant condition to the Offer has therefore been satisfied,” Rank details through a filing with the London Stock Exchange, as reported by SBC News.
Seeking to significantly enlarge its UK digital portfolio, this summer Rank governance sanctioned an all-cash purchase of Stride Gaming assets, moving to acquire the London AIM bingo network’s brands of Kitty Bingo, Lucky Pants, Bingo Extra and Lucky VIP, Regal Wins and Spin&Win.
The approval of the Commission came after the shareholders of Stride also voted in favor of the acquisition in July. A total of 96.43 percent of the votes cast supported the transaction, with only 3.57 percent of the votes against.
At the time of submitting the offer in May, Rank said the merger would create a business with authentic dimensions and capabilities in the digital market, with net gaming revenues of around £ 185 million. Rank also said the deal would improve its performance and also reduce costs by migrating to Stride's proprietary technology platform along with the internal ecosystem, as well as improving the management team with the addition of senior Stride personnel.
Furthermore, Rank said the merger would create significant value from strong synergies while offering greater financial flexibility to the combined business. Last month, Rank announced flat sales and a 22% drop from operating profits in its annual data, although digital growth helped improve performance in the six months to June 30th.