Rank in comms overhaul

Leisure group Rank, the owner of the Hard Rock Café chain, is reviewing its financial PR account as it plans to sell off the music-themed venues.

The conglomerate - which also owns Mecca Bingo, Grosvenor Casinos and online betting pioneer Blue Square - is believed to be planning to hold talks with top-tier financial PR agencies after seven years with The Maitland Consultancy.

Maitland said it had not been invited to repitch. Rank was not able to comment on the review.

Rank said the sale of its 121 Hard Rock Cafés was not a done deal, but analysts predict the business will sell for around £500m, with Permira emerging as one of the early favourites to buy it - last week the firm brought in investment bank Merrill Lynch to advise on ‘strategic options'.

Hard Rock would follow Butlin's, Warner Holidays and Odeon Cinemas as businesses sold off by Rank, whose chief executive is Ian Burke.

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