UK bingo and casino operator Gala Group is the latest European firm to seek a leveraged recapitalisation, after Focus Wickes and Lecta. There had been talk this summer that the CSFB Private Equity-backed Gala was planning a GBP1.3 billion IPO. However, in the face of the deteriorated stock markets, those plans were shelved.
In addition to its high yield bonds, the company has a GBP340 million senior debt financing outstanding. That leveraged loan was put in place in April 2001 by mandated arrangers CSFB, JP Morgan and RBS, when the company refinanced following its acquisition of 29 casinos from the Hilton Group. Those three banks are likely to be leading this recap.
CSFB Private Equity bought out the company from PPM Ventures in May 2000 and is now keen to get back some of its equity investment and realise some of the value created.