The UK Gambling Commission has finally approved Rank’s take-over bid for Stride Gaming, the online bingo and casino operator, giving the operator of Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casino the green light to complete its purchase for their initial bid of £115.3 million. The approval will now see Rank Group acquire Stride’s entire (diluted) share capital but there is one final hearing scheduled to take place before they can sign on the dotted line.
Both gambling operators are due to meet at the Royal Court of Jersey on October 2nd to finalise the deal, and should everything go to plan, October 3rd will be the final day trading for Stride Gaming on London’s AIM. October 7th would then see all shares belonging to it removed from the exchange and they will cease trading under that name.
It’s a Vote Winner:
Back in July, Stride shareholders voted in favor of the take-over bid and from a total of 96.43% votes cast, only 3.57% voted against the deal. The deal proposed by Rank will further enhance their offering and will see the major gambling operator become the owners of popular bingo and slots brands, including Kitty Bingo, Bingo Extra, Lucky Pants and Spin and Win.
By migrating to Stride’s proprietary technology platform, Rank estimate that the deal will significantly improve its performance whilst reducing overall costs. Despite flat sales and a drop in operating profits being down year-on-year, Rank’s digital growth has seen improved performance in the six months leading up to June 30th.
What Does This Mean for Bingo Players?
The new deal will have very little effect on new and existing customers on the brand’s current platform, which means you get to play in the same environments you’ve come to know and love. There could be slight changes here and there over the years including a new design and theme, but this is expected from any online bingo or slots establishment. Take Dabber Bingo for example; the Tau Marketing Services Limited-owned brand; after numerous years in the bingo daubing and slot spinning business, they decided it was time to reveal a brand-new look.
In the summer of 2019, Sailor Bingo also rolled out some new changes and this included a software leap from Cozy Games to Dragonfish and a new bingo network too; from the Best Bingo Network to the Real Bingo Network and this in turn meant new promotions and a new style of play – no wagering requirements ever!
Rank’s proposal was an impressive one but will have no effect on their current operating profits which have slumped from £50.1 million to £39 million in the year through to end of June. Like-for-like revenue has also dropped from £731.3 million to £729.5 million, although turnover was up slightly from £691 million to £695.1 million and this is thanks to online gaming.