Praesepe was formed in October 2007 when Nick Harding took control of a cash shell called Aldgate Capital. With the help of Marwyn Partners (a public markets investor who took a cornerstone investment position in the business) further equity was raised and a number of acquisitions were made in the UK AGC (arcade gaming) sector. In 2009 the company was renamed Praesepe. For information the ‘Praesepe’ is a cluster of stars in the constellation of Cancer. It is sometimes also called ‘The Beehive Cluster’.
In 2009 Praesepe acquired the interests of the Beacon Group. This comprised some 28 AGC venues and 6 licensed Bingo Clubs. One of these clubs was the Beacon Club in North London. This club is generally regarded as the largest Bingo Club in Europe. Later that same year Praesepe acquired a further three Bingo Clubs from the Noble Organisation.
In the autumn of 2012 Praesepe was acquired by the Gauselmann Group, a German company which trades in over 40 countries and which is generally regarded as the foremost provider of gaming machines in Europe. Gauselmann Group effected this acquisition by funding a UK vehicle called Merkur Casino (UK) Ltd.
Today Praesepe operates 174 AGC arcades, 8 FEC’s, 7 Bingo Clubs & 38 tanning salons. It also owns part of Bingo Express Ltd.