Gala’s £1.2 billion tertiary buyout in March 2003, led by John Kelly, was the biggest in British corporate history. The owners, CSFB Private Equity and PPM Ventures, had intended to float the company but decided on a sale to Cinven and Candover. With 6m members, 35m admissions a year, 193 sites and 10,000 employees, bingo and casino operator Gala Group is a giant in the British gaming industry. Its sales rose nearly £100m to £544m in 2004, boosted by the abolition of bingo duty. Profit margins are a healthy 20%.
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