The governance of Rank Group Plc has this morning confirmed that it has entered ‘advanced discussions’ to acquire London AIM-listed online gambling group Stride Gaming Plc.
Rank the operating company of Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos, has tabled a ‘28% premium’ offer on Stride’s share price, putting forward to investors an all-cash ‘151 pence per share’ purchase price to acquire Stride assets outright.
The bid sees Stride Gaming, considered the UK’s largest online bingo network, valued at approximately £115 million.
Rank’s pursuit of Stride comes as the UK gambling group undertakes a ‘corporate transformation programme’ led by Chief Executive John O’Reilly.
Focusing on improving corporate efficiencies and shareholder value, O’Reilly and Ranks new executive team have focused on expanding the group’s digital assets, countering retail ‘venue declines’ within its Mecca and Grosvenor properties.
The Stride bid sees Rank governance continue its strategy of expanding the group’s digital portfolio. In 2018, Rank would move to acquire popular Spanish online bingo portal YoBingo for €21 million.
The acquisition would see Rank significantly boost its online gaming profile, absorbing the Stride UK bingo brands’ of Kitty Bingo, Lucky Pants, Bingo Extra and Lucky VIP, Regal Wins and Spin&Win online casino properties.
Issuing a market update, Rank Group CEO John O’Reilly: “We have long been impressed with the quality of the Stride management, technology and operations, which, we believe, offer significant opportunities to create value when combined with the Rank brands, customer-base and infrastructure.
“The joining of our businesses will accelerate delivery of Rank’s Transformation Plan and create one of the UK’s leading online gaming businesses.”