The UK gambling operator Gala Coral revealed that it came to an agreement with Caledonia Investments to sell its Gala Bingo retail business for £241 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the next two months since it already has the approval of the UK Gambling Commission. The deal includes all 130 Gala clubs across the United Kingdom. Gala Bingo represents 38% of the UK’s retail bingo market.
The Gala Coral online bingo offering is not part of the sale and the company will continue to manage it. The two companies have a Collaboration Agreement under which the online and the land-based division are supposed to maintain a strategic connection; therefore, all Gala Bingo halls will keep the Gala brand.
The news that Gala Coral was interested in selling its bingo retail division was announced last September. According to Duncan Johnson, head of unquoted investments at Caledonia Investments, his company saw this as a perfect opportunity to enter the “defensive, enduring business model” that offered strong cash generation and attractive dividend yield.
In addition to this latest deal, Gala Coral is also awaiting approval by the regulating body to finally complete the £2.3 billion merger with its rival gaming operator Ladbrokes. If the companies get green light to go on with their plan, the UK will have a new biggest bookie by betting shops and another major player on the gambling market.