The investment trust company, Caledonia Investments, has completed its purchase of bingo halls from the UK’s largest bingo operator, Gala Coral
Caledonia acquired 130 bingo clubs from Gala for £241m, and it will continue to operate under the Gala brand under a license agreement with Gala Coral. Gala Bingo, formed in 1991 currently holds 38 percent of the retail bingo market in the UK.
Simon Wykes, Chief Executive Officer of Gala Bingo (Retail) said: This is a landmark moment for Gala Bingo and I am proud to be leading this business through the next stages of its lifecycle. We have some ambitious and exciting growth plans to now put in place. It’s great to have an investor with the financial backing to match our ambitions, and signifies the start of a fresh, new chapter in the story of Gala Bingo.”
The purchase was conditional on change of control approval by the UK Gambling Commission, which Caledonia confirmed has now been granted.
Caledonia invested £92.3m in cash for 98.9 percent of Gala Bingo’s equity, a slightly different figure from what was announced due to closing balance sheet adjustments and a higher equity subscription for the management team.
Duncan Johnson, Caledonia’s Head of Unquoted Investments, said: “We are delighted to have completed the purchase of Gala Bingo and to be backing Simon Wykes and his experienced management team on the next stage of Gala Bingo’s exciting journey.”