As Gala Bingo prepares for a rebrand, its private equity owners are attempting to offload some of its halls to reinvigorate its profits.
Caledonia Investments, the firm which bought Gala Bingo in 2015, is looking for buyers of some of its sites. It is also offering some companies the option of taking up excess space in some of its locations.
According to the latest set of available results, the operating profits of Gala Bingo decreased by 5pc to £746,000 in 2015. On the other hand, pre-tax profits declined heavily from £40.9m in 2014 to £1.9m, almost entirely caused by payments from other group companies. In the full-year results of Caledonia which was released in May, for the year to March, the investor revealed that Gala Bingo has “traded in line with our expectations at the time of the acquisition 18 months ago” but provided no more detail.
Industry sources imply that the company has been hindered by a shift of bingo players moving online.
Both the galabingo.com and galacasino.com are maintained by Ladbrokes Coral, a bookmaker, indicating that a rebrand would probably be required if Gala Bingo is to make a push online.
A source that has knowledge of the company suggested that Buzz Bingo is a brand name that it was considering. The company is also said to have approached firms such as supermarkets, Co-op and Nisa regarding their interest in any of the Gala Bingo Sites. It has also approached frozen foods supermarket, Farm Foods, and gym businesses The Gym, and Gym Box.
A spokesperson from Gala said that the company always reviewed its estate but refused to comment regarding the rebrand.
“We regularly review opportunities to invest in our estate and create added value services for our customers.
“There may be occasions where clubs are considered for disposal but this will be on a case-by-case basis.”