n 12 May 2012 The Rank Group announced that it had conditionally agreed to acquire Gala Casinos from Gala Coral Group. That conditional agreement envisaged Rank purchasing 23 casinos and three non-operating casino licences. The Original Agreement anticipated the possibility of the Office of Fair Trading 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, as a result, the Original Agreement lapsed. On 19 February 2013, the Competition Commission published its final report following its review of the Proposed Acquisition.
Rank announced that it has now agreed terms with Gala Coral for the purchase of 19 of the 23 casinos originally comprised within the Original Agreement, as well as the three non-operating licences also comprised within the Original Agreement (subject to agreeing in the next few weeks appropriate remedy undertakings with the Competition Commission in relation to the four casinos to be retained by Gala Coral and Rank‟s non-operating licence in Edinburgh, and the disposal of that non-operating licence to a purchaser approved by the Competition Commission).
Gala Coral’s casinos in Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Stockton-on-Tees and Gibraltar, its non-operating licences for the City of Westminster (London) and Dundee, its branded online casino activities and all of the central management functions previously associated with Gala Coral’s casino business are not included in the scope of the Amended Acquisition.