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Battle for UK's Gala Coming to End

24 January 2003

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the UK Evening Post: "The race to buy Nottingham-based bingo and casino operator Gala has entered the closing laps.

"Only two major players are still in the running - Permira, the private equity house, and venture capitalists Candover and Cinven.

"Permira -who recently bought the Travelodge and Little Chef businesses for £172m (US$280.9 million) - is thought to have made the highest offer of £1.3bn.

"Candover and Cinven have made a joint bid of between £1.2bn and £1.3bn.

"…Gala's controlling shareholder, CSFB Private Equity, is likely to decide which bid to accept in the next few days.

"But it has not yet abandoned its plans for a possible flotation on the Stock Exchange.

"…Gala, the UK's biggest bingo operator with 166 clubs, is also expected to be one of the main beneficiaries of the Government's planned deregulation of the gambling industry.."

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