The business on: Neil Goulden, Chairman, Gala Coral

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So why is he in the news?

The creditors have taken control of the business he runs, Gala Coral, owner of the Coral bookmaking chain and numerous Gala casinos.



What, a bookie's been the loser?

Don't start cheering, now. That would be mean. It's true that England being really bad has brought them in a nice windfall, but times have been tough in high-street betting shops and sporting results in general haven't been helpful. Mr Goulden says Coral is not doing as badly as some of his rivals but profits are down.



But they're still making money?

Yes, but that's not really what this is all about. Gala Coral was one of those private equity buy-outs that has gone belly-up because of the vast amount of debt used to finance the deal. Some £2.6bn in total. The debt holders have called time on the previous owners and taken control.



So is he under threat?

No, senior management are staying in place. Mr Goulden will remain in place as chairman. He wasn't, after all, responsible for structuring the transaction. You've got the private equity firms to blame for that, and they're history now.



But he won't be getting out much.

Probably not. Mr Goulden is a big sports fan – most bookies are — and supports Arsenal and Hampshire County Cricket club. He's also a passionate follower of the exiles – London Irish.



Why them?

He actually turned out for them in his youth and it's not that unusual for rugby players to make a success of it in business after they hang up their boots. But he'll probably be chained to his desk for a while. When not at Gala Coral he's a non-executive director of Marstons, the pub chain.



Any other business?

He's chairman of the South Central NHS Ambulance Trust; and a member of the Low Pay Commission, which advises the Government on the national minimum wage (it was increased yesterday).

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