Rank folds on Gala casino talks

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The owner of Mecca Bingo today said it had walked away from talks over a deal with gambling company Gala Coral that would have created the UK’s biggest casino operator.

Rank Group, which owns the Grosvenor Casinos chain, said in January it was in discussion with Gala to buy its casino business in a deal reportedly worth £250 million.

But chief executive Ian Burke said the proposed terms would not have delivered value to shareholders and Rank would now focus on growing its business, including opening 12 G-Casino sites, which are aimed at younger crowds, by 2015.

The deal would have seen Rank overtake Malaysia’s Genting as the biggest firm in the sector, while debt-laden Gala would have been freed to concentrate on its Gala bingo and Coral bookmaking divisions.