Gamingking agrees reverse takeover of Orb Holdings

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The Independent Online

The Private club lottery machine supplier Gamingking has agreed a reverse takeover of Orb Holdings, the UK's second largest operator of amusement machines in the licensed retail sector.

The takeover statement came as Gamingking posted falling sales and profits, as the smoking ban and the credit crunch hit its performance in private clubs.

Once the deal is completed, a capital reorganisation will take place and Orb Holdings, which owns Sceptre Leisure and Regal Machine Sales, will change its name to Sceptre Leisure.

The enlarged company is to expand Gamingking's lottery offering into the 6,500 pubs served by Orb, which will expand into Gamingking's core market of registered members' clubs.

Aim-listed Gamingking, which supplies about 5,000 gaming machines to 3,500 private members' and working men's clubs, is to acquire all the shares of privately held Orb Holdings. Sceptre Leisure will receive new shares equivalent to 85 per cent of the enlarged company, while Gamingking's current share capital would comprise a 15 per cent share.

Shares in Gamingking, which were suspended at 1p last month when it revealed takeover talks, resumed trading yesterday.

Gamingking's chairman, Douglas Yates, said: "We expect the combination of the two will provide the enlarged group with a range of cross-selling opportunities and economy of scale benefits, representing value for Gamingking across a number of fronts."

For the year ended 30 April, Gamingking posted a pre-tax loss of £342,000, compared with £11,000 profit for the same period a year ago. Its revenues fell by 2 per cent to £5.03m. It attributed the loss to a combination of one-off restructuring and project start-up costs, as well as the effects of the smoking ban.

Gamingking is rolling out lottery ticket vending machines into pubs and other licensed premises, after the Gambling Act 2005 removed the prohibition of these machines outside registered member's clubs.