U.K. casino operator Rank Group’s planned takeover of rival Gala Coral has been held up indefinitely by competition concerns.
The deal, which would result in Gala and its portfolio of 23 casinos becoming a part of Rank, was first announced by the two companies in May, and if successful would create the U.K.’s largest casino group.
The takeover was conditional upon receipt of clearance from competition authorities, with a deadline for approval set for September 19.
The Office of Fair Trading, however, referred the £205 million sale to the Competition Commission over fears that the deal would be anti-competitive. With the formal deadline having now passed without a ruling by the Competition Commission, Rank’s offer is no longer binding, and the deal has entered a state of limbo.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Rank said the company is “continuing to assist the Competition Commission with its inquiry,” and will continue its discussions in relation to “appropriate amendments” to secure the deal.