The Rank Group who own and operate a large estate of land based casinos and bingo halls in the UK under the Grosvenor and Mecca brands respectively, have this morning issued a regulatory notice to the London Stock Exchange. With the notice published in response to press and media speculation that the company is planning to undertake an equity issue.
With the second nationwide lockdown commencing in England at 00:01 earlier this morning, lasting until at least 2nd December next month, the Rank Group have been very vocal as to how restrictions imposed on their land based operations have adversely affected their business.
Indeed Chief Executive Officer John O’Reilly back in June was critical of the UK Government’s restrictions on the leisure industry, whereby casinos in particular, alongside bars and restaurants had been ordered to close by 10pm, prior to the national lockdown commencing in England today.
The regulatory notice published this morning stated: “Rank notes the recent press speculation regarding the possibility of the Company undertaking an equity issue. The Board continuously reviews the Group’s financial position and confirms it is in discussions with its advisers regarding a potential equity issuance of up to a maximum of 19.9% of its issued share capital.”
“Such an equity issuance would be intended to strengthen Rank’s balance sheet in this unprecedented trading environment. There can be no certainty that the equity issuance will proceed. A further update will be provided if and as appropriate.”
Similarly GVC Holdings plc who own and operate well known high street bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral, earlier this week posted an update to investors, concerning the outlook for their retail estate in advance of the second national lockdown taking place in England.