Kindred Group to acquire Rank’s Casino Blankenberge

Kindred Group has struck a deal to acquire all shares in the Rank Group subsidiary that operates Belgium’s Casino Blankenberge, the Unibet operator’s licensing partner for the country’s igaming market.


It will acquire 100% of shares in Blankenberge Casino-Kursaal (Blancas), at a valuation of £25m (€27.7m/$32.5m) on a cash and debt-free basis.

“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,” the operator explained.

Kindred has worked with Blancas since 2012, with the country’s online gambling regulations requiring igaming operators to have a land-based partner to offer online casino, live dealer games and poker.

The deal, which is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of the year, shows its long-term commitment to the Belgian market, Kindred added. It will operate the business as a separate entity its business, retaining the current management team lead by Dominique de Wilde.

The casino is one of nine land-based facilities currently operating in Belgium, and has been owned by Rank since 1998. In the 12 month to June 2020, it generated revenue of €10m, and posted an operating profit of €3m.

The casino’s concession agreement with the city of Blankenberge was also renewed in 2018, meaning a new 15-year operating licence begins in January 2021.

For Rank, the deal sees it pull out of the Belgian casino market, having shut down operations in the municipality of Middlekerke in 2017.

The Grosvenor Casinos operator said that net proceeds would be used to reduce its debt and for general corporate purposes, as well as supporting its focus on transforming its core business.

"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,” Rank chief executive John O’Reilly said.

“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."