Caledonia sells stake in Buzz Bingo
Caledonia Investments has revealed its recent sale of its majority stake in Buzz Bingo to Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), the asset management fund. The stake was apparently sold for a nominal amount.
The private investment trust has been Buzz Bingo’s majority shareholder for over five years now, after it obtained Gala Bingo for about £240m, right before Gala Coral, who formerly owned the brand, merged with Ladbrokes Plc.
In 2019, after it was acquired mostly by Caledonia, Gala Bingo rebranded as Buzz Bingo in a colossal £40m change of its venues in the United Kingdom, as well as a brand new campaign in the country.
Caledonia also noted in an update that this investment in Buzz Bingo was ‘valued at nil as of 28 February’, since the asset performed poorly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and caused many new rules and restrictions to show up.
Additionally, Caledonia took over the recapitalization of Buzz Bingo throughout the past year, adding £20m into the operator in order to be able to tough out the restrictions brought on by the pandemic and lockdowns. And even though the company was restructured, this long period in lockdown caused the operator to shut down 26 out of 91 of its bingo halls and venues in the United Kingdom.
Caledonia mentioned that this new lockdown also saw the operator needing extra funding, which the trust decided to stay out of.