Six years ago the company was worth £240 million, last week the financial buzz amounted to just a ‘nominal’ amount as Caledonia Investments offloaded Buzz Bingo to fellow investor IGC.
The investment company had led the rebrand of Buzz from Gala Bingo in 2019, having acquired the brand for £240m in 2015 ahead of Coral’s merger with Ladbrokes.
“The FTSE 250 investment trust said that its investment in Buzz was valued at nil as at 28 February, 2021 compared to £22m as at 30 September, 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic and government restrictions meant that the company’s clubs were unable to trade for most of the last 12 months,” reported trading journal Morning Star.
“Although Buzz was refinancing in the summer of 2020 through a company voluntary arrangement, in which Caledonia injected £22m, a third national lockdown had led to a requirement for new funding, which Caledonia chose not to take part in.”
Caledonia had already injected £40m into Buzz during the 2019 rebrand of its 91 nationwide clubs, however with Buzz closing 26 sites last year the company’s value had plummeted.
ICG, which was already a long-term investor in the company, followed the sale announcement by confirming an £18m into the business, alongside a new £10m credit facility from Barclays.