Rank and William Hill held merger talks (englisch)

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Betting shop operator William Hill approached bingo hall and casino operator Rank Group about a possible merger but later called off the talks, the Sunday Times reported.

The paper said the possible all-share deal was called off within the past two weeks after a presentation to the William Hill board by its chief executive, David Harding.

Rank's board did not vote on the approach, the paper said.

Rank, which owns Hard Rock cafes all well as Mecca bingo halls and Grosvenor and Hard Rock casinos, has been trying to sell Deluxe Film, which makes copies of movies for cinemas, and Deluxe Media, which makes about 200 million DVDs per year.

On November 17, William Hill lowered full-year profit expectations, saying that, in common with other betting-shop chains, it had suffered from unfavourable sporting results.

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