Gala Coral Group has hired bankers Lazard as strategic adviser for the sale of its 130 retail bingo clubs. UK business sources have indicated that Lazard are seeking to sell Gala Coral’s retail bingo division for an estimated £250 million.
A Gala Coral statement confirmed that the operator had “commenced a process to explore the possibility of a disposal of the venues”. The sale of its retail bingo division is expected to be followed by a flotation of its remaining betting and gaming assets.
The sale of Gala Coral’s retail bingo division was first outlined in 2013 by Chief Executive Carl Leaver, as the operator looks to streamline its operations and decrease costs.
UK business sources have linked the Gala Bingo retail division, with a potential buyout by private equity firm OpCapita, reporting that OpCapita CEO and UK leisure expert Henry Jackson closely monitoring affairs regarding the division.
Continuing its ongoing streamline of business divisions, last May saw Gala Coral senior management announce UK betting shop closures, the closures will begin in Q3 of 2014.
Gala Coral Group stated that the “total number of shop closures will be reviewed on a rolling basis and is likely to be in line with those announced by the group’s competitors”