After much industry speculation, land-based and online casino operator, The Rank Group, has now reportedly agreed to spend £115.3 million ($145.6 million) to purchase fellow British firm Stride Gaming.
According to a report from the Reuters news service, the Maidenhead-headquartered behemoth behind the United Kingdom’s 54-strong chain of Grosvenor Casinos venues inked the deal earlier today in an effort to increase its standing within the nation’s booming iGaming sector.
Reuters reported that the acquisition is due to make The Rank Group, which is already responsible for the online casino brands at GrosvenorCasinos.com, Enracha.es and MeccaBingo.com, the second largest iGaming operator in the United Kingdom behind GVC Holdings and allow it to better compete with this aforementioned rival’s main bingo domain at FoxyBingo.com.
Almost 19% of Rank’s most recent half-year revenues came from the iGaming sector and the firm reportedly declared that the acquisition of Stride Gaming will provide it with ‘an engine for digital growth’ and allow it to attract younger players who enjoy using websites and mobile apps rather than visiting its land-based facilities.
Rank is to fund the acquisition through a £128.1 million ($161.7 million) loan it recently agreed with NatWest Bank and expects the exercise to deliver at least £13 million ($16.4 million) in annual pre-tax cost savings as it rationalizes its geographic spread and cuts duplicated jobs.
For its part, Stride is reportedly the third largest online bingo operator in the United Kingdom courtesy of its domains at SpinAndWin.com, MagicalVegas.com and RegalWins.com holding an 11% market share. But, the London-based firm was recently purportedly forced to blame regulatory changes as its six-month profit before tax declined by a third year-on-year to $2.6 million ($3.2 million) with its £30 million ($37.8 million) in associated revenues representing a drop of some 30%.