Rank and Gala end bid talks

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The Independent Online

Rank Group has ditched its £250m bid for Gala Coral's casino business after nearly three months of talks.

By adding the 24 casinos owned by debt-laden Gala Coral to the 35 already run by Rank, the deal would have created the biggest casino operator in the UK.

Ian Burke, Rank's chairman and chief executive, said the terms did not deliver value for the group's shareholders. He said: "We will now concentrate on delivering our organic growth plans, including 12 more casinos by 2015."

James Hollins, an analyst at Investec, said the decision is a "minor disappointment" but added Rank was "right to walk away".

Gala, which is owned by private equity also blamed the price for the breakdown in talks, which were initially sparked by a bid from Rank.