Gala Coral Whispers of a Float and Paddy Power Lose Their Head of Operations

TAGs: bookmaker, Gala Coral, gambling, gambling news, Lee Davy, Paddy Power, street bookie, William Reeve

Shareholders at Gala Coral may be considering a flotation worth upwards of £2bn according to reports emanating from Sky News, and Paddy Power wave bye-bye to their Head of Operations.

Gala Coral Whispers of a Float and Paddy Power Lose Their Head of OperationsThe word on the street is that the owners of the UK’s third-largest high street bookie, Gala Coral, have started to approach a series of investment banks with respect to a ‘strategic review’ of the business, that could see the company valued at over £2bn. The reports indicate that although no official approaches have yet been made, people close to the company have said that informal discussions about the company’s options have already begun.

The Gala Coral Group recently enjoyed a Q3 rise in gross profits of 3% to £193.9m, and net debt also shrunk after the completion of the deal with the Rank Group that saw 19 of Gala Coral’s casinos passing over to the former. It’s unknown whether the strategic review will see Gala Coral sell more of its body parts or just settle for a flotation of the whole?

Gala Coral also have a vested interest in the Italian market where their Eurobet operation recently opened a glut of 500 retail shops, and signed a sponsorship deal to be the face of Italy’s Serie B.

Paddy Power Lose Their Head of Operations

Maybe the title of Head of Operations was just not interesting enough for the entrepreneur William Reeve. After all Paddy Power have titles such as Head of Mischief on their payroll, but either way it seems the largest Irish bookmaker in the business are waving bye-bye to one of their assets.

Reeve had been in his position for a year, and becomes the second high profile exit in the past two years, after Betfair poached their then COO Breon Corcoran to become their CEO in August 2012.

“He wishes, as a next step, to pursue opportunities in the commercial area,” A spokesperson for Paddy Power told the Sunday Independent. “Paddy Power is grateful to William for his contribution to the management of the infrastructure of the business and wishes him well in his future endeavors.”

Reeve was the co-founder of Lovefilm, the online film rental store that never has any movies you want to rent, which was later, sold to Amazon for some pretty hefty bucks.  Reeve was a non-executive director at Paddy Power for two years before taking up his position as Head of Operations, and continues to be a non-executive for the natural food delivery service Graze.


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