|UK Competition Commission to Investigate Rank’s Gala Takeover Deal|
The imminent Rank takeover deal of Gala Casino properties has been referred to the UK Competition Commission by the consumer watchdog over concerns the deal could destroy competition within the UK market.
The deal was initially agreed back in May of this year when Rank stated it planned to purchase 23 of Gala’s casino properties to the 35 casino properties the company already operated for a fee of £205 million.
After months of discussion over the summer, it looked set for a deal to be completed in the coming weeks but this referral by the consumer watchdog has left the deal in the air as the UK Competition Commission probes the deal to see if it would destroy competition in the local and national UK casino market.
Britain’s Office of Fair Trading stated "Rank and Gala are two of only three large national casino operators in the UK. This merger would represent a major consolidation which could be expected to reduce competition, both locally and nationally.”
It is still hoped that the deal will go through but the probe has at least put a delay on proceedings. The UK Competition Commission is not expected to confirm the findings of the probe until February 2013 meaning any acquisition will be postponed until then.
Rank has stated that it would review the potential implications of the probe and would make an official statement on the issue shortly.
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