Gala Coral has sold their Gala Bingo retail division to Caledonia Investments for £241 million which paves the way for their merger with Ladbrokes. As part of the deal Caledonia Investments has acquired 130 Gala Bingo clubs which will continue to trade under the ‘Gala’ brand through a licence agreement between the two companies.
Online players don’t have anything to worry about because it’s only the clubs that have been sold off so they will still be able to play at Galabingo.com and Galacasino.com websites like they have always done.
The move won’t be going ahead just yet because the UK Gambling Commission still has to grant their approval which can take up to two months.
It’s suspected that Gala Coral are offloading their bingo clubs to boost their chances of the £2.1 billion merger with Ladbrokes going ahead because there’s been some concern that the merger would put them in an unfairly dominant position in the gambling market and they’re still waiting approval from the regulator.
However, Gala Coral have said that the sale doesn’t have anything to do with the proposed merger between the Coral Group and Ladbrokes which is due to be completed before the end of the year. The merger was first announced back in July this year and the Gala Bingo retail division was never going to be a part of the new venture.
According to Carl Leaver the chief executive at Gala Coral the sale is part of their restructuring after the turnaround of the business over the last few years. He also added that the Gala Coral Group has shifted their primary focus to expanding their retail bookmaking and online businesses so that’s where all their efforts will lie.
Duncan Johnson the head of unquoted investments and Caledonia also added that Gala Bingo’s business model is an ideal fit for them.