The Financial Times (FT) has reported that Gala Coral governance are preparing for a potential IPO post the UK General Election (7 May). The newspaper reports that the operator is targeting a potential Q4 2015 float.
Gala Coral governance will examine whether market conditions are favourable post the election as the UK gambling market may be hit with further constraints and stricter operational policies. The FT further reports that investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are advising the bookmaker, but as yet have not been formally appointed to lead the IPO.
At present Gala Coral is part owned by four private equity firms, Apollo Global Management, Cerberus Capital Management, Anchorage Capital Partners and Park Square Capital. The private equity firms took over the company in 2010, absorbing £2.5 billion in corporate debt.
Gala Coral is currently the UK third largest bookmaker with +1800 shops. For its full year 2014 performance, the operator reported EBITDA earnings of £263 million from gross gaming revenues of + £1.2 billion.
In December 2014 Gala Coral sold 47 of its UK bingo properties to Investment and equity management firm M&G Investments in a deal valued at £173 million.
The FT states that a potential Gala Coral float could value the company at £2 billion, dependent on future UK gambling restrictions.