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Rank Group PLC (RNK)

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Thursday 29 October, 2020

Rank Group PLC

Disposal of Belgian casino business

RNS Number : 5422D
Rank Group PLC
29 October 2020
 

LEI: 213800TXKD6XZWOFTE12

 

29 October 2020

 

The Rank Group Plc ('Rank', the 'Company' or the 'Group')

 

Disposal of Belgian casino business

 

Rank is pleased to announce it has reached agreement to sell its Blankenberge casino and associated digital licence ("Blankenberge") to Kindred Group plc ("Kindred").  The disposal is subject to regulatory approvals by the Belgian Gaming Commission and the Blankenberge City Council and constitutes a Class 2 transaction for the purposes of the Listing Rules.

 

Having closed its Middlekerke operations in 2017, Blankenberge has been Rank's sole remaining casino venue in Belgium. For the full year to 30 June 2020, Blankenberge contributed £2.7 million to Group profit before tax and reported gross assets of £4.2 million as at 30 June 2020.

 

Rank successfully negotiated the renewal of its operating licence for Blankenberge in 2018 and has materially improved the venue's performance in the period since then, increasing its attractiveness to potential purchasers. The online licence attributed to the venue has been operated under licence to Kindred since August 2012.

 

Total consideration for the sale of the business, which is subject to the regulatory approvals set out above, is £25 million on a cash free / debt free basis, to be satisfied in cash. Net proceeds will be used to reduce the Group's net debt position and for general corporate purposes. The Group continues to review opportunities for maintaining appropriate levels of debt for the business. The disposal will also support management's focus on Rank's transformation 2.0 programme to drive improvement across its core businesses. 

 

John O'Reilly, Chief Executive of The Rank Group Plc, said:

 

"Today's announcement of the sale of the Blankenberge casino secures the next chapter for a great venue in Belgium and a team that deliver an excellent customer experience to the local community. As a standalone casino, the business was non-core to Rank's international growth plans and the £25m sale proceeds supports the Group's liquidity and future growth initiatives."

 

 

Contacts:




Rank


Sarah Powell, director of investor relations (investor enquiries)

David Williams, director of public affairs (media enquiries)

Tel: +44 1628 504 303

Tel: +44 1628 504 295



FTI Consulting LLP (PR adviser to Rank)


Edward Bridges

Tel: +44 20 3727 1067

Alex Beagley

Tel: +44 20 3727 1045

 

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