Report: Apollo Files Gala Coral Rescue Plan

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S private equity firm Apollo has approached British bookmaker and bingo group Gala Coral with a rescue proposal, according to The Sunday Times, citing sources familiar with the plans.

Apollo has submitted a proposal to Gala Coral’s board under which it would pay 250 million pounds ($405 million) in exchange for half of the company, which runs about 150 bingo clubs and more than 1,600 betting shops, the newspaper said.

The gaming company, which is laden with about 2.7 billion pounds of debt, had been considering a restructuring deal from a group of its junior lenders. [ID:nLN355712]

Under the Apollo deal, 250 million pounds would be repaid to the group’s senior lenders and the junior lenders would be given the other 50 percent for the company, although Apollo would have majority voting rights, the newspaper said.

Gala’s main lenders will decide which restructuring proposal they prefer before Christmas, the Sunday Times said.

Gala Coral, which was not immediately available for comment, is owned by private equity companies Candover (CDI.L), Cinven and Permira.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by John Stonestreet)

($1=.6170 Pound)