The UK gaming and betting company Rank Group PLC has received permission from the Competition Commission to buy its rival Gala Coral Group’s Gala Casino 1 Limited, owner of 19 casinos and three non-operating licenses for £179 million.
The clearances comes after Global Gaming Ventures Limited received approval to buy Rank’s cold license in Edinburgh, one of the conditions set by the Competition Commission in its February report.
Last May Rank agreed to acquire Gala Casinos, including 23 UK based casinos and three non-operating licenses for £205 million. The deal was then referred to the Competition Commission by the UK Office of Fair Trading over concerns that it may harm competition.
As a result Rank agreed to an amended deal in March which didn’t include four casinos in Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Stockton-on-Tees and Gibraltar. It also had to sell its Edinburgh cold license to an upfront buyer if it wished to purchase the Gala casino in Edinburgh.
The deal will create the UK’s largest casino operator with 54 operating venues and 12 non-operating licenses. It is also expected that the deal will increase the company’s earnings in the first full financial year.