Europe's online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in packaged media and new delivery technologies

Rank disposes of Deluxe Film for $750 million

The Rank Group Plc, the international gaming and leisure group – and a British distributor of movies for half a century – announced that it has reached agreement to sell Deluxe Film, the film processing and creative services business, for $750 million to DX III Holdings Corporation, a subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.

"The announcement of the sale of Deluxe Film represents an important stage in the strategic evolution of The Rank Group," said Mike Smith, the company's Chief Executive. "Rank will now concentrate on the growth opportunities in its gaming businesses and in Hard Rock." It will take advantage of moves by the British government to relax laws governing the country's £3.8 billion ($6.6 billion) gaming industry.

"Our immediate priorities are the disposal of Deluxe Media Services and the completion of a review to establish an appropriate capital structure and dividend policy for the continuing group," Smith adds. The outcome of the review is due for 3 March 2006 when Rank’s 2005 preliminary results will be released.

Rank said in February that it had made a 2004 provision of £181.4 million for a loss on the proposed sale of the DVD distribution unit. Last year, Deluxe Media lost a contract with the studio Fox International to make and distribute DVDs in Europe. The contract accounted for 48 percent of Deluxe's DVD production in 2003.

Rank has undergone a prolonged restructuring during Smith's six-year reign as chief executive, disposing of Pinewood film studios, Odeon Cinemas, Butlins holiday camps and Tom Cobleigh pubs. The Deluxe businesses proved more difficult to sell and were first put on the market in November last year.

Story filed 01.01.06

Bookmark and Share

Article Comments

comments powered by Disqus