Genting nabs Stanley

Stanley Leisure Plc., the UK’s biggest casino operator announced last night a recommended bid from the Malaysian gaming operator Genting for £639 million, or £700 million including debt. But the 860p a share bid for Stanley could yet be trumped by Harrah’s Entertainment.

Genting, who have managed to build up a 20 per cent stake over the past couple of years, said it had purchased a further 5.5 per cent from the groups Chairman Lord Steinberg. Lord Steinberg has now committed to accept the offer in respect of his remaining 5.3 per cent holding.  

Genting is thought to be trying to head off a bid from Harrah’s Entertainment, the US gambling giant who last week made a £280 million offer for LCI (London Clubs International). The Harrah’s bid gate crashed the planned nil-premium merger between Stanley and LCI that had been talked about of over 2 years. Genting also owns a 29.8 per cent in LCI and would have become the biggest shareholder of the combines company had the proposed LCI/Stanley merger gone through.

Genting owns Maxims casino in Central London, while Stanley runs 45 casinos including Crockfords in Mayfair. LCI has always been an attractive acquisition as it has the attraction of being awarded six licences in cities, including Manchester, Glasgow and Blackpool.

Editor, - 2006-09-11 15:17:59

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