Rank approve sale of Hard Rock

The sale of Hard Rock to the Seminole Tribe of Florida has finally achieved approval a month after the deal was announced. Shareholders in Rank Group PLC agreed to the deal in a meeting held yesterday.

The $965 million deal sees the Seminole Tribe acquiring 124 Hard Rock Cafes, four Hard Rock Hotels, two Hard Rock Casino Hotels, two Hard Rock Live! Music venues and stakes in three unbranded hotels.

The Seminole Tribe, the first Indian tribe in the U.S to legalise gambling, own five casinos in Florida and are reported to have received nearly $1 billion in profit over the past two year from their operations. The deal also makes the Seminole Tribe the first tribe to buy an international company. 

“Today is a momentous day for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock International,” the tribe said in a statement.

However, the sale of Hard Rock has come under scrutiny as The Cordish Company, Baltimore, claim they were not given full access to Hard Rock’s books even though they were very interested in the company. They claim there was collusion between Hard Rock chief executive Hamish Dodds and the Seminole Tribe to keep the price down on the provision that jobs were kept for current Hard Rock executives.

The $965 million deal, according to some analysts, could have been as much as $300 million shy of Hard Rock’s real value. Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe dismissed the accusations, claiming they have no merit and that the sale was through a “competitive auction”.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-01-09 11:12:45

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