Caledonia Investments, a member of the FTSE 250, has announced the selling of its majority stake in Buzz Bingo to wealth management company Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) for an undisclosed sum.
Since 2015, the London private investment trust has become the majority shareholder of Buzz Bingo, having purchased the Gala Bingo brand for £240 million ahead of the merger of former owner Gala Coral with Ladbrokes Plc.
Gala Bingo rebrands to Buzz Bingo
Gala Bingo would be rebranded as Buzz Bingo in 2019 under Caledonia’s majority management, with the bingo company investing £40 million in refurbishing its UK venues and launching a new national promotional campaign.
Caledonia reported in its market update that its investment in Buzz Bingo was “valued at nil as of 28 February” because the asset’s success had been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown restrictions.
Caledonia was the driving force behind Buzz Bingo’s refinancing in 2020, investing £20 million in the bingo company to keep its UK venues open through the nationwide lockout.
Despite its reorganisation, Buzz Bingo had to shut 26 of its 91 bingo halls across the UK during the prolonged lockdown period, stating that the company’s management “expects an unsustainable operating environment for the foreseeable future.”
Caledonia revealed that a third nationwide lockdown necessitated new financing, which the investment trust declined to participate in.