£586m Guoco bid 'undervalues' Rank

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The Independent Online

The bingo halls and casino operator Rank has advised its shareholders to reject a takeover bid from its largest investor, saying that it undervalues the company.

On Friday, Guoco – a property and investment holding firm controlled by the Malaysian billionaire Quek Leng Chan – acquired an 11.6 per cent stake in Rank, thus increasing its shareholding in the FTSE 250-listed company to 40.8 per cent. The move triggered a mandatory takeover offer from Guoco to buy the Rank shares it does not already own. The proposal was pitched at 150p per share and equated to a 0.8 per cent premium to Rank's 148.8p share price at close of business on Friday.

The offer valued the group at about £586m. "The board has considered the offer and believes it significantly undervalues Rank and its prospects and, as a result, recommends that shareholders do not accept it," Rank said, while noting that Guoco had reiterated its support for Rank and its management team.

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