Gauselmann Praesepe deal concluded


According to City pundits, Germany’s Gauselmann Group will announce its purchase of the  UK’s largest chain of adult gaming centres, Praesepe, today.

The deal, which had been rumoured in the British industry for some weeks, will be concluded by Gauselmann with Praesepe’s parent company, Marwyn Management Partners, and the value of the deal has been described as £76m.

Once borrowing has been repaid, Marwyn should scope £19m in cash from the deal. Marwyn is a multi-faceted investment group with interesting in many areas, including a 300-bus transportation company in Gauselmann’s own country.

Praesepe, whose CEO is the campaigning Nick Harding, was launched on the Alternative Investment Market as Aldgate Capital in 2007 and then embarked on a string of acquisitions in the AGC business, including HJM Caterers and E&J Hall. The group then became Praesepe plc and became involved in many forms of gaming, including machines, bingo, sports betting and pools both in the UK and in the EU.

More acquisitions followed, including Delph Ltd, Classic Leisure, Case Concepts, Beacon Entertainment and then last year it bought 14 locations from the Noble Organisation. It currently has 96 AGCs, four FECs, six bingo clubs and online gambling interests.

Gauselmann Group is one of Europe’s largest gaming machine companies, with involvement in manufacturing, distribution and operation of equipment. The Praesepe purchase will be its largest non-German acquisition to date. It increases still further the German-Austrian invasion of the UK market.

Gauselmann’s great Austrian rival, Novomatic, recently completed the purchase of the UK’s largest low-stake gaming machine maker, Bell Fruit, with its associate, Mazooma, as well as one of the country’s largest operators, Gamestec.

Gauselmann Group’s name has also been recently linked with another of the UK’s major operators, Sceptre Leisure.

written by David Snook

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