Grand Parade Investments: Sun International seeks slot stake

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Grand Parade Investments briefly touched a record on Friday after Sun International, South Africa’s second-biggest leisure company, said it was in talks to buy a stake in the competitor’s slot-machine unit. Grand Parade jumped as much as 4 percent to R5.20 in early trade on Friday, the highest intraday price since the company’s June 2008 initial public offering, before closing unchanged at R5, valuing the company at 2.35 billion. Sun International was seeking a “material interest” in Grand Parade’s GPI Slots, which owns and runs limited-payout machines, the companies said in a joint statement on Friday. First-half profit at Johannesburg-based Sun International dropped 21 percent to R302 million as gambling revenue stagnated and the cost of eliminating jobs increased, the company said last month. Cape Town-based Grand Parade, which also has property and restaurant assets, opened the first Burger King worldwide franchise in South Africa in Cape Town last year and introduced the brand’s first outlets in Johannesburg this year. Sun International closed 1 percent lower at R95 after initially touching R96. – Bloomberg

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