Bingo is undergoing a renaissance in Britain, especially among young women, which is good news for Gala. The game’s renewed popularity generated sales of £433m and impressive operating profits of £98m in 2002 for the group, which pays out £18m in prize money every week at its 166 bingo clubs. After a management buy-in from Bass in 1997, the company was on course to float this year. But because of weak market conditions its private-equity backers sold Gala to management and two other private-equity houses, Cinven and Candover, in a £1.2 billion deal in March 2003, making it the biggest tertiary buyout in Britain.
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