Caledonia Investments plc has announced that it has completed the purchase of the UK’s largest retail bingo operator, Gala Bingo, from Gala Coral Group.
Caledonia acquired 130 Gala Bingo clubs for a fee of £241m. Gala Bingo was formed in 1991 and currently holds a 38% share of the retail bingo UK market. It’ll continue to trade under the Gala brand thanks to a licence agreement with Gala Coral.
The sale removes another obstacle in the merger between Ladbrokes and Coral, although there are several more challenges to face for that deal to be completed.
Simon Wykes, Chief Executive Officer of Gala Bingo (Retail) said of the agreement: “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.”
Gala Bingo has over 1.1m active members and its main income streams are Main Stage Bingo, a quicker version called Party Xtra, electronic gaming machines and food and drink.
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.”