Milton Keynes, UK (1 Oct) – One of the most significant acquisitions in UK low-stake gaming has been completed with the Gauselmann Group acquiring 100 percent of Marwyn Gaming from MMP, owners of Praesepe plc. The purchase, which was announced to the City on Monday 1st October 2012, comprises a market-leading 159 Adult Gaming Centres, nine Bingo Clubs, five Family Entertainment Centres as well as the Internet business, Beacon Bingo Online. A new company, Merkur Casino UK Ltd, has been formed and will be chaired by Ulrich Wuseke, Chief Financial Officer of the Gauselmann Group. Praesepe founder Nick Harding will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the new company.
Commenting on the acquisition Ulrich Wuseke said: “We are very pleased to be able to announce the purchase of Praesepe which has been completed after a long period of research and negotiations. The company enjoys a very strong reputation across the markets it serves and offers good high street coverage throughout Britain. As well as buying the physical business, which includes of course Europe’s biggest Bingo Club and the internationally famous Crystal Rooms in London’s Leicester Square, we are also investing in a progressive philosophy, an energy and an approach to entertainment retailing which, we believe is unique in the UK. Together with Blueprint Gaming, another UK subsidiary that develops games and devices, we now have a complete range for the UK market – true to our self-conception to offer entertainment and gaming fun with stakes and prizes anywhere at any time. We want to nurture and encourage this approach and provide the financial investment necessary to help turn visions into reality.”
Nick Harding, who took Praesepe from a standing start to a total of 173 operating sites in just five years said: “The Gauselmann story, which saw Paul Gauselmann launch his business in 1957 and grow it to an internationally acclaimed 1.7bn Euro enterprise, is one of the most inspiring in gaming and one which I genuinely admire. I am delighted that an organisation of this calibre has made such an investment in our business and, for that matter, in UK gaming. Even against the backdrop of the double dip recession and the handbrake of limited investment, my team has registered a series of very significant successes, which have cemented our position as operators of the most successful gaming brands on Britain’s high streets. The financial confidence that we now have will allow us to drive forwards and implement the progressive initiatives which I believe will transform the sectors that we operate in.”