The £241 million (US$358.9 million) deal will give Caledonia the ownership of 130 Gala Bingo clubs in the UK
UK.- Caledonia Investments completed the acquisition of Gala Coral’s retail division, Gala Bingo. The deal went ahead whilst Gala prepares for its £2.3 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) merger with Ladbrokes. This merger has already been approved by Ladbrokes shareholders but it is still subject to approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. The sale made to Caledonia may be an attempt to ease regulators’ concerns over the size of the gambling empire Gala Coral and Ladbrokes will become after the merger.
The clubs will continue to trade under the ‘Gala’ name and Gala Coral will retain the Galabingo.com and Galacasino.com websites. The acquisition depended on change of control approval by the UK Gambling Commission, which the investment trust company confirmed has now been granted. Caledonia invested £92.3 million (US$ 137.4 million) in cash for 98.9% of Gala Bingo’s equity. Intermediate Capital Group provided a £155 million (US$ 230.7 million) senior debt facility to fund the balance of the purchase costs.
A statement from Gala Coral expressed that “the relationship between Gala Retail and Galabingo.com will be governed by a collaboration agreement which will ensure that the two businesses take full advantage of the multi-channel opportunity, already developed successfully by Coral.”
Gala Coral CEO Carl Leaver stated “the disposal is another transformative step for Gala Coral, following the turnaround of the business over the past few years. Gala Coral remains focused on growing and developing our retail bookmaking and online businesses, and concluding the proposed merger with Ladbrokes.”