The deal is said to be worth around £250 million and it would see the 24 branches of Gala casino merged and become part of the Rank owned Grosvenor brand, which already has 35 branches in operation. The Sunday Times originally reported the talks and has suggested that the deal is already reaching the latter stages, with the possibility of it being completed in time to be included in Rank’s interim results on February 9th.
The Grosvenor Casino brand is already being rebranded and the company aims to have 45 branches by 2015, which could be achieved much more quickly with this acquisition. Grosvenor’s rebranded as G-Casino has seen a rise in customer levels as a new, younger type of less formal casino customer has been attracted to their outlets. Grosvenor currently employs over 3,000 people and this would be set to increase if the deal were to go through. Currently, the Malaysian firm Genting is the biggest casino operator in Britain with 45 outlets currently open but this could soon change.
The majority of The Rank Group is owned by a Malaysian gambling company and its brands are going from strength to strength. On top of the Grosvenor casino arm, Rank also has over 100 Mecca Bingo clubs and also owns the Blue Square sports and betting gaming company. With larger more affluent companies attempting to take full control of the industry, perhaps there is hope for a brighter future in high street gambling.
Spokespeople from the City have expressed positive feelings about the deal, giving Rank a boost both in revenues but also in terms of property and the number of land-based casino sites owned by the company. The extension and expansion of their land-based casinos is also said to be an opportunity to ‘cross-sell’ allowing their online casino and perhaps online bingo brands to flourish further. It seems, if this deal were to go through, Rank would be in a very favourable position across the board with their brand images gaining more exposure in a positive light. News regarding the conclusion of the deal and whether it goes through should surface soon.