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Bids, Mergers and Takeovers

Caledonia to acquire Gala Bingo

26 October 2015 07:27

Caledonia Investments has agreed terms to acquire Gala Bingo Holdings Limited, the UK's largest retail bingo operator, from Gala Coral Group Limited in a transaction which values the business at £241m.

Led by chief executive Simon Wykes and chief finance officer Alex Wood, Gala Bingo has a 38% share of the UK retail bingo market, operating a national estate of 130 clubs with over 1.1 million active members.

For its financial year to 26 September 2015, adjusted on an unaudited basis to show the standalone business being acquired, Gala Bingo reported EBITDA of £52.7m and profit before tax of £33.0m and had gross assets at that date of £189.6m.

On completion, which is subject to change of control approval of the Gambling Commission and finalisation of a £155m senior debt facility, Caledonia will invest £97.8m in cash to acquire 99.5% of the equity of Gala Bingo, with the management team subscribing a further £0.5m.

The acquisition will not include Gala Coral's branded online bingo offering,, which will be retained by the vendor. Caledonia's head of unquoted investments, Duncan Johnson, said: "Gala Bingo is well known to Caledonia's Unquoted Investments team and we are delighted to be backing Simon Wykes and his team in the next chapter of its history. Its defensive, enduring business model, which delivers strong cash generation and dividend yield, fit ideally with the investment criteria sought by Caledonia for its unquoted portfolio and complements our other assets in the Unquoted pool. As with our other unquoted investments, Gala Bingo will pay an attractive yield from inception."

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