91 UK Buzz Bingo Clubs Sold
Caledonia Investments PLC, owner of the UK’s Buzz Bingo clubs announced last week all 91 venues have been sold to Intermediate Capital Group PLC (ICG) for an undisclosed fee.
Back in 2018, Gala Leisure rebranded to Buzz Bingo after the sale of Ladbrokes Coral land-based clubs. ICG who already invest heavily in Buzz Bingo has secured £10 million credit from Barclays Bank to further enhance their investment in the company. £18 million is already earmarked by ICG for future investment into Buzz Bingo.
After the closure of bingo halls across the UK for near on 10 months last year the bingo industry has been hit particularly hard and many will never reopen their doors again. 26 Buzz Bingo clubs closed in the UK last year and it’s looking more likely more will permanently close.
Zero Worth In 2021
Caledonia announced as of February 28th, 2021, the company value was zero, compared to figures released on 30 September 2020 when the companies worth hit £22.0 million. Caledonia invested £22 million in the summer of 2020, but job losses were announced at the companies Nottingham head office. Further funding was needed after the third lockdown, but Caledonia declined to take part and ICG stepped in to purchase the company.
Buzz Bingo chief executive Chris Mathews said, “This agreement provides us with the financing we need to ensure our success when Covi-19 restrictions ease. Prior to Covid, we were in. a strong position – and growing. But lockdown meant we have only been able to fully trade for about six weeks since March 2020.
“The new funding ensures we will continue to thrive. As the UK’s largest retail bingo operator and a cornerstone of many communities throughout the UK, we provide affordable entertainment to more than 1.1m retail customers. We can’t afford to welcome back into all our 91 clubs throughout the UK on the 17th May.
“We have invested heavily to ensure customers can stay safe and have fun, and the clubs performed well in the periods when they were allowed to open last year and we are also benefiting from the fast growth of our online offering Buzz Bingo which two years after launch is already one of the UK’s market leading operators in its own right.
“We would like to thank Caledonia Investments PLC for their significant support over the past six years, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with ICG as our new shareholder.”