Gala Bingo division offloaded

Gala Bingo division offloaded

Monday, October 26, 2015 Totally Gaming
Deal separate from proposed Ladbrokes merger

Gala Coral chief executive Carl Leaver has hailed a deal to offload the Gala Bingo retail division to Caledonia Investments as the next step in the transformation of the UK company.

Under the deal worth £241m (€334m/$370m), Caledonia will take control of all 130 Gala Bingo outlets in the UK, pending approval from the UK Gambling Commission.

The names of the outlets will remain unchanged due to a licence agreement between the two parties, with the Galabingo.com and Galacasino.com websites staying under the control of Gala Coral.

Earlier this month, UK bookmaker Ladbrokes said that it had agreed a £1.35bn facility with banks to fund its proposed merger with Gala Coral. The Caledonia deal is unrelated to the proposed Ladbrokes merger, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“The sale is another transformative step for Gala Coral Group, following the turnaround of the business over the past few years,” Leaver said.

“Gala Coral Group remains focused on growing and developing our retail bookmaking and online businesses, and concluding the proposed merger with Ladbrokes.”

Duncan Johnson, head of unquoted investments and Caledonia, praised Gala Bingo’s “defensive, enduring business model, which delivers strong cash generation and dividend yield”.

The merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral was announced in July, with the combined company set to be worth £2.3bn.

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