Hard Rock sold!

Hard Rock Cafe sign

TEXT OF STORY

BRIAN WATT: Florida's Seminole tribe is buying the Hard Rock chain. The deal is worth about a billion dollars. It includes Hard Rock's famous cafes, concert and hotel venues as well as its casino chain. And then there are all those cool guitars. Marketplace's Stacey Vanek-Smith takes a hard look.


STACEY VANEK-SMITH: If the deal is approved, the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be the proud new owner of 124 Hard Rock Cafes, four Hard Rock hotels, and a casino chain.

Hard Rock was wildly popular in the late '80s and early '90s. Its luster has largely faded, and the weakening dollar has eroded company profits.

That could explain why Britain's Rank Group, agreed to sell it for less than a billion dollars, but Retail Analyst Howard Davidowitz says the Seminole tribe may have gotten a deal.

HOWARD DAVIDOWITZ: You have a very powerful brand name, you've got tremendous locations in major cities. Can you take this and really reinvigorate it? If you do, you just bought this for a steal.

The Seminole Tribe already operates Hard Rock hotels and casinos in Florida. For its part, Rank says it wants to focus its energies on its lucrative gaming businesses.

In New York, I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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