Benefits of Private Property
By James McKeown
Whilst the majority of online gaming companies have been turning to the public capital markets or to merger and acquisition opportunities as their primary means of raising capital, or developing exit strategy, many have overlooked what is now considered the most powerful sector in the capital markets – the private equity industry.

That is according to Melissa Blau of Global Leisure Partners, who writes in the forthcoming issue of iGaming Business magazine about how private equity could and probably should be the solution for online gaming companies looking for a strategic alternative source of liquidity.

In an excerpt from the article, Blau states, “So, why should the online gaming industry be interested in attracting capital from this investor base? Perhaps the most noteworthy and relevant example is Gala Group (now Gala Coral). In 1997, the Gala management team teamed up with a group of private equity investors to buy their company back from the Bass Foundation for £236 million.”

“They embarked upon a growth strategy, which included consolidation, international expansion and a more strategic breadth of product offering. Gala management first consolidated the bingo market successfully, then acquired Hilton’s casino business, and working with Global Leisure Partners, successfully completed the acquisition of Coral Eurobet thereby adding betting, online gaming and other revenue enhancements to its product offering...Today Gala Coral is worth over £4 billion in enterprise value.”

You can read Melissa’s full article in the Jan/Feb edition of iGaming Business magazine which will be available at the International Casino Exhibition (ICE) at Earl’s Court, London January 23 – 25.

Melissa Blau is currently with Global Leisure Partners, providing M&A and advisory services for the online gaming industry. Prior to joining GLP, she was the CFO of St. Minver, a white label operator of online casino, poker and bingo. Melissa has been working with early stage companies for over 10 years. Prior experience includes General Partner and founding member of Constellation Ventures (Bear Stearns) a $450 million venture capital fund dedicated to the media and technology sector.

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