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Gala Bingo in take-over wrangle

21.12.2009

A last minute take over bid by an American-owned Private Equity firm has been submitted to the Gala Bingo Board. As part of the bid; Apollo has proposed a cash injection of £250m into the company in exchange for a share of 50% in Gala Bingo’s parent company; Gala Coral.

It is further proposed that the remaining 50% go to the company's lenders (whom Gala owe almost £2.5 billion), totally eradicating the existing shareholders.

It is believed that Apollo are sizeable shareholders in American casino giant; Harrah's, also reported to be struggling under substantial debt. The Apollo bid rivals the bid by another private equity group Blackstone, and a consortium of Gala's lenders who hope to undertake a debt for equity swap.

It is believed that Apollo’s plans look to hold Gala for three to five years before selling the company on to another private equity buyer or through a stock-market float.

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