Stride shareholders back Rank Group acquisition

24 July 2019

Stride Gaming shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the online casino and bingo operator’s proposed acquisition by Rank Group.

Shareholders cast their votes at a Court Meeting earlier today (July 24), with a total of 96.43% of the votes supporting the transaction and just 3.57% against the deal.

A total of 27 shareholders voted to back the deal and just one opposed the move, in a vote that saw a 78.57% turnout of Stride shareholders.

Rank in May submitted a bid of 151 pence per share to acquire the entire Stride business, valuing the operator at £115.3m (€129.3m/$144.0m). Should the deal go through, Rank said it would create an entity with scale and capability in the digital market, with pro forma digital net gaming revenues of around £185m.

Stride has said that despite this shareholder approval, the deal is still subject to regulatory clearance from the GB Gambling Commission. The two parties are confident over this approval and anticipate that the transaction will close in the fourth quarter of this year.

The news will come as a boost to Stride, which, on the same day as confirming it had accepted Rank's offer, also reported a 13.0% year-on-year decline in revenue during the first half of its financial year.

Net gaming revenue during the six months to February 28, 2019 amounted to £39.0m, down from £44.9m in the corresponding period last year. Operating profit also dipped from £4.3m to £2.5m, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell from £8.0m to £6.2m.