Hard Rock For Sale?

Rank Group, the U.K. company that owns the Hard Rock Café chain, is looking for a buyer for the restaurants.

The gambling-and-leisure company has commissioned Merrill Lynch to investigate “the potential strategic options for Hard Rock, to assess whether or not Hard Rock should remain part of The Rank Group,” according to The Daily Telegraph.

The company is reportedly focusing on its casino interests and expects Hard Rock Café to sell for between $830 million and $995 million. Chances are the chain will be shopped in the U.S. because, even though the first café was built in London in 1971, the brand has maintained higher recognition in the States.

Rank, which inherited the chain when it took over the Mecca bingo halls in 1990, said Hard Rock’s revenues rose 8 percent in the six months ending in June, according to The Guardian.

The sale would complete the breakup of a once-huge leisure conglomerate and set Rank up for a takeover bid, the Telegraph said.

Rank Group owns 68 cafés; another 53 are franchised.