Gala Coral sells 47 UK bingo clubs to M&G Investments

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Gala Coral has sold 47 of its UK bingo properties to Investment and equity management firm M&G Investments in a deal valued at £173 million.

The deal will see M&G takeover 40% of Gala Corals 127 UK bingo sites, with 36 of the clubs being freehold properties. The acquired property portfolio from Gala Coral will further see M&G gain 12 ‘heritage listed’ clubs.

In September Gala Coral senior management announced that it had appointed financial advisor Lazard as strategic consultant for the sale of its 127 bingo clubs. The operator stated that it would focus its future growth strategy on improving its digital gaming division.

In order to raise interest in the sale of its retail bingo clubs, Gala Coral hosted an open auction for potential buyers in June 2014. The funds raised by Gala Coral from the sale to M&G will be used to fund potential future projects for the operator.

Paul Bowtell, chief financial officer at Gala Coral, said: “Today’s (Monday’s) announcement is good news for the Gala Coral Group as it further streamlines our financial structure.

“In addition, the move to current market rents on these clubs for Gala Bingo will enhance the profitability of the business.”

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