Malaysian Firm Guoco Bids For Rank Group's Bingo Holdings

Published Saturday, May 07, 2011 -

Online Bingo is big and getting bigger all the time as people use their computers to play instead of going to the familiar hall that players are used too. The ban on smoking at bingo halls in the U.K. has brought down the numbers attending the Bingo sessions much to the consternation of operators of those terrestrial halls such as the Rank Group. Rank Group’s most recent set back has been the smoking ban at its facilities in Spain with numbers in attendance down significantly. The tight economy in the U.K. has also brought troubling times for the Rank Group.

Now, The Rank Group, is under the gun from the  Malaysian super tycoon Quek Leng Chan and his  company, Guoco. Chan has made it clear in the past that he would like to acquire the Rank Group accumulating over 29% of the UK Company’s shares. The £586 million takeover bid from Quek Leng Chan is actually a forced bid as his company has increased its stake in the company to over 40%.

Rank is the holding company for Mecca Bingo which forms the large part of Rank’s leisure business. In fact they own the second largest number of terrestrial  bingo clubs in the UK and an established  online bingo site. Guoco is already a shareholder in the company and they are offering 150p per share for the balance of the shares it is not in possession of yet.
Factors that influenced Ranks share price include a recently won a multi million pound tax case against the UK government and the fact that Ranks revitalized UK bingo hall chain is now starting to turn the corner once again. Rank is a market leaders in the online gambling sector with strong growth in their online bingo, casino, poker and online sport book divisions.
The Guoco company has been supportive of the Rank management team who have done an excellent job of keeping the firm on track during the difficult times.


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