Gala Coral Group Gets Unexpected Relief From Chancellor Osborne
It is rare for the taxman to cut taxes as UK bookmakers are all too aware. With punitive measures including a tax hike on offshore online operators as well as on FOBT’s, the scenario of UK Chancellor George Osborne throwing a bone to bookmakers is a welcome surprise.
This unlikely scenario comes at a perfect time for Gala Coral Group who have been unsuccessfully looking for investors to purchase their retail bingo operations. Their retail business has a 38 percent market share with over 1.1 m annual customers. Chancellor Osborne’s reduction of the bingo duty from 20 percent to 10 percent mans that Gala will likely succeed in finding a buyer for their 135 bingo halls for the price tag of 300 million. Only a few months ago they were willing to accept much less but no buyers were biting.
Osborne’s gift to Gala means that the full-year ebitda will be in the region of £50m for the year which would likely be enough to tempt previously hesitant buyers to purchase the bingo halls. Gala intend on maintaining their online bingo operation. The financial advisory firm Lazards is expected to conduct the sale which could help their possible IPO that is rumored to be a possibility.