Media Centre

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Gala Coral Restructuring Successfully Completed

Gala Coral, Britain's largest betting and gaming group, today confirmed that it had successfully concluded a restructuring of the Group's balance sheet, providing it with a strong platform for future growth.

  • Mezzanine debt holders have converted their £558m holding into equity, and have injected a further £200m in cash, which will go to pay down senior debt.
  • As a result net debt will reduce by over £700m to circa £1.9b and senior secured debt will reduce to circa £1.5b which is less than 5x last 12 months EBITDA of circa £310m.
  • In return, the mezzanine holders will take ownership of the Group and existing shareholders Candover, Cinven and Permira will exit.
  • A reduced and revised senior debt facility will provide incremental covenant headroom for the company.
  • The new shareholder group will be led by Apollo, Cerberus, Park Square and York Capital Management, each of which will each nominate a representative to the Group Board, in due course. 
  • The restructured Group will retain over £200m of cash within the business, and is now focussed on investing for future growth in both its retail and online businesses.

Commenting on the restructure, Gala Coral's Executive Chairman, Neil Goulden, said:

“I am delighted that, after nearly 12 months, we have successfully concluded one of the largest and most complex restructurings in UK corporate history.  The restructured Group is now in a strong position and fully able to compete in an increasingly competitive and global gambling market.  We have 17,000 employees, nearly 2,200 retail outlets, over 3.5 million active customers and some of the best known gambling brands in Europe in Gala, Coral and Eurobet.  When combined with our strong cash flow, reduced levels of debt, and over £200m in cash, we are very well positioned to invest in growth as the UK and global markets come out of recession.”

“In Apollo, Cerberus, Park Square, York Capital Management and others we have an enviable stable of financially strong, supportive and engaged new shareholders.  At the same time, I would like to pay tribute to our exiting shareholders (Cinven, Candover and Permira), as well as our senior and PropCo lenders, who have supported us through a complex and often turbulent restructuring and have always acted in the very best interests of the company.”

Rick Press, Partner at Apollo Management added:

“We are pleased that the balance sheet and ownership of Gala Coral is being restructured successfully in a consensual process. We are especially grateful for the support of Gala Coral's customers and suppliers and the loyalty and dedication of its employees. The Gala Coral management team have done a terrific job guiding the business through this process and we, along with all the new shareholders, look forward to helping them to now position the company for future growth.”

For further information, contact: 

Finsbury Group
Mike Smith or Charles Watenphul: 0207-251-3801.

Background on Gala Coral

December 1997

MBI from Bass Group, backed by PPM Ventures (130 bingo clubs)

July 1998

Acquisition of 17 Ritz bingo clubs

June 1999

Acquisition of 10 bingo clubs from Jarglen

March 2000

CSFB Private Equity acquired a majority stake in the Company

April 2000

Acquisition of 27 bingo clubs from Riva

December 2000

Acquisition of 29 Ladbrokes casinos from Hilton Group

February 2003

A consortium led by Candover and Cinven acquired the Company

September 2005

Permira acquires a (circa) 30% stake in the Company

October 2005

Gala Group acquires the Coral Eurobet Group comprising over 1,250 land-based betting shops and a successful internet business

January 2006

Acquisition of 10 County Bingo Clubs

June 2010

Gala Coral Group acquired by its mezzanine lenders, including Apollo, Cerberus, Park Square and York Capital Management

Gala Coral is the pre-eminent betting and gaming group in Europe, with nearly 17,000 employees in the bookmaking, bingo and casino markets, both on the high street and online.

Gala Bingo

Gala Bingo is the UK's leading bingo operator, with 145 clubs, 4000 employees, and over 1.2 million people passing through its doors last year

Galabingo.com

Galabingo.com is a leading bingo website offering bingo, chat and other games 24 hours a day

Coral

Coral is one of the leading retail betting businesses in the UK, with more than 1,600 betting offices in the UK

Coral.co.uk

Coral.co.uk is one of the world's largest online sports bookmakers, offering fixed odds betting on major sporting events around the world, such as the FIFA World Cup and NBA Basketball

Eurobet Italia

Eurobet is one of the leading brands in the Italian retail betting market, with 370 shops across the country, and a successful on-line operation Eurobet.it

Eurobet.com

Eurobet.com provides online sports betting, casino, poker and other gaming products to customers in over 130 countries worldwide, in 16 languages including Chinese and Russian

Gala Casinos

Gala operates 26 casinos in the UK, as well as a flagship operation in Gibraltar, with almost 700,000 active members

Gala TV

Gala TV broadcasts on Sky and Freesat (Channel 861), and Galabingo.com, 24 hours a day

Gala Coral's commitment to corporate responsibility has been recognised with a place in Business in the Community's 2009 Corporate Responsibility Index. The Group's award-winning community partnership with Sue Ryder Care - for which it recently raised over £1 million, its strategy on environmental stewardship and leading position on responsible gambling, helped it to achieve Bronze in the UK's leading voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility.

Gala Coral was also the first gambling operator to have received full GamCare accreditation across all its divisions.

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