Gala Coral Group Buyout On The Cards

By Ben Barker - May 29 2015

Gala Coral Group logo

It’s looking like 2015 is going to be an interesting year for the Gala Coral Group.

The names of the interested parties in a potential acquisition of Gala Coral Group’s retail bingo division, Gala Bingo, have been revealed in the UK media.

It’s no secret – at least in the bingo world – that Gala Coral governance is intent on selling off its 130 UK-based retail bingo halls, either through the sale of individual premises or an acquisition of the whole division.

According to news sources, there are several likely candidates: German gambling operator Gauselmann Group, one of the world’s  biggest suppliers of gaming machines, have been named alongside private equity firms Bridgepoint (International), Risk Capital Partners (London) and OPCapita (International).

The former CEO of Scientific Games A. Lorne Weil – who left the lottery provider in 2013 – has also been named as a potential running mate. And in another development it has been reported that Gala Bingo Managing Director Simon Wykes is preparing to bid for a management buyout of the retail division.

So far nothing has been confirmed by Gala Coral. The group has been witnessing good growth in its online division and the sale of its bricks and mortar premises will raise the capital to grow the division further.

It is thought by M&A advisors Lazard who were brought on to manage the group’s strategy have estimated that the sale of Gala Coral’s retail bingo division could generate £250 million.

For those who don’t pay attention to the ups and downs of the gaming world, Gala Coral group combines the well-known brands Coral Bingo and Gala Bingo. The Gala Coral Group is one of Europe’s leading betting and gaming companies, with established retail and online brands (though the retail side of things will surely be taking a back-seat soon). The Group serves customers primarily in the UK and Italy; the two largest regulated gambling markets in Europe.

According to the company’s website: “In the UK, the Group has over 1,800 Coral betting shops and customers can access all content and products online via Coral.co.uk, Galabingo.com and Galacasino.com. The Group also owns 132 UK bingo clubs through its Gala Bingo brand, making it the largest bingo club operator in the country. In Italy, the Group has 870 Eurobet betting shops and is online at Eurobet.it. For Swedish customers, the Group has recently launched Gala.se.”

The group has posted encouraging performance in their half year report for 2015. You can read their full statement here. 

 

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