Buyout Firms Lose Control of Gala Coral

LONDON (Reuters) – Creditors of Gala Coral took control of the British gambling business on Monday to end one of Europe’s longest-running restructurings and wrest control from the firm’s private equity backers.

The new deal will see mezzanine debt holders, led by Apollo Management [APOLO.UL], convert their 558 million pounds ($828 million) holding to equity and inject a further 200 million to pay down senior debt, Gala said.

All parties, including senior creditors, management and the existing private equity shareholders Candover (CDI.L), Cinven [CINV.UL] and Permira [PERM.UL] agreed to the deal which will see the private equity firms lose their equity investments.

Gala Coral expects to unveil a new board later this week, chairman Neil Goulden told Reuters in an interview. The board will include Goulden and also Gala’s existing chief executive, its chief financial officer, and four new industry experts nominated by the new shareholders. (Reporting by Simon Meads; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.6743 pound)