Electra announces Rank buyout

Electra Partners Europe has announced the £30m management buyout of Rank Leisure Machine Services, the amusement machine business, from Rank Group.

Rank Leisure Machine Services (RLMS), one of the UK’s leading suppliers of coin operated leisure equipment, has been acquired by Electra Partners Europe for £30m.

The business has been acquired through Electra’s portfolio company Danoptra (formerly Kunick), which was bought by Electra in a £118m public-to-private last year. RLMS will be combined with Danoptra’s existing amusement machine operating business Gamestec Leisure.

RLMS offers sales, rental and maintenance services to UK-based leisure firms. Part of Rank Group since 1990, it employs around 800 staff and posted turnover of £50m in the year to 31 December 2002. At the same date, its net assets, excluding intercompany loans, stood at £28.1m. Gamestec, which operates in the same market as RLMS, has turnover of approximately £58m and employs about 1,150 staff.

By combining the two businesses, Electra aims to better exploit opportunities presented by new technology and the possibility of further de-regulation of the UK gaming industry.

“The acquisition of RLMS is consistent with our original strategy of supporting Danoptra to develop its amusement machine operations in a manner which would not have been possible had Kunick remained a public company,” said Robert Clarke, director of Electra Partners Europe.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearance being obtained, is expected to complete before the end of the year.    

Earlier this week, Electra and Candover were reported to have moved closer to a sale of UK boiler making firm Baxi Group for around £800m. Interested parties are thought to include Bain Capital, BC Partners and Carlyle Group.