- Bingo and casino company Rank Group said it had agreed to acquire online gambling group Stride Gaming for £114.5m.

Rank had offered 151p cash per Stride Gaming share, representing a 29% premium to their closing price on Thursday.

Rank said the deal would create a business with 'genuine scale and capability' in the digital market.

It would also improve Rank's performance and reduce costs, through migration to Stride's technology platform, while adding new management expertise and generating other cost-saving opportunities, it added.

Stride said it had accepted the offer amid 'mounting regulatory and fiscal pressures' in the UK gambling sector.

Chairman Nigel Payne said the company was also 'concerned that investor sentiment to Stride is likely to continue to be negatively impacted by these external pressures for some time'.

At 9:21am:

[LON:RNK] Rank Group The PLC share price was +1.3p at 147.1p

[LON:STR] Stride Gaming Plc share price was +29p at 146.5p

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