Kindred reaches agreement to purchase Rank Group’s Belgian subsidiary

By Iqbal Johal

Kindred Group is to acquire Casino Blankenberge after reaching an agreement to purchase all shares in the Rank Group subsidiary.

The operator will buy 100% of shares in Blankenberge Casino-Kursaal (Blancas) NV, which operates Casino Blankenberge in Belgium, for a valuation of £25m ($32.5m), on a cash and debt free basis.

Kindred has worked with the casino’s license holder and operator Blancas since 2012, that has allowed the operator to offer online casino and poker to customers in Belgium through its Unibet brand.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to be completed in Q4 later this year. The company will operate as a separate entity within the group under current management led by Dominique De Wilde and gives Kindred access to one of the nine land-based casino licenses in Belgium.

Blancas, which has been owned by Rank Group since 1998, generated €10m ($11.7m) in revenue in the 12 months up to June 2020, posting an operating profit of €3m.

“The acquisition will solidify Kindred’s long-term operations and commitments in Belgium and will allow Kindred to continue to offer an attractive broad offering to Belgian customers,” Kindred said in a statement.

Rank Group CEO John O’Reilly added: "Today's announcement of the sale of the Blankenberge casino secures the next chapter for a great venue in Belgium and a team that deliver an excellent customer experience to the local community.

“As a standalone casino, the business was non-core to Rank's international growth plans and the £25m sale proceeds supports the Group's liquidity and future growth initiatives."

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