Stanley raises pounds 200m to join Coral battle

THE RACE for the Coral betting shops to be sold by the leisure group Ladbroke hotted up yesterday as Stanley Leisure, the UK's fourth largest bookmaker, revealed that it is to raise pounds 200m to bid for the chain.

The news of Stanleys' fund-raising came as the Tote, the state-owned bookmaker, confirmed that it had arranged a credit facility, believed to be worth up to pounds 400m, to bid for Coral. The two bookmakers' decision to mount separate bids for the 891 Coral outlets comes only days after talks over a possible joint bid collapsed.

Stanley Leisure, which owns around 560 betting shops in the UK and Northern Ireland, thrashed out the details of its fund-raising at a board meeting yesterday. The company decided that the bulk of the bid will be funded through debt, with only a small portion coming from equity. Three leading City banks, including SG Hambros, are believed to be vying for the role of lead underwriter to the loan.

The three financial houses are due to meet with Stanley's management next week to discuss the details of the credit line. Stanley Leisure also plans to use the proceeds of a recent pounds 100m syndicated loan, arranged by SG Hambros, to fund the Coral bid.

Leonard Steinberg, the company's chairman, said that about pounds 70m of that loan is still available. The company could also call upon an extra pounds 40m that was oversubscribed at the time of the loan. The existing war chest and the new banking facility to be arranged next week would minimise the need to issue new equity, Mr Steinberg added.

Ladbroke has been forced to sell Coral after its pounds 363m takeover of the chain from the beer group Bass was blocked by the government last month on comeptition grounds. The authorities gave the leisure giant six months to sell the chain and indicated that the shops should be sold to a single buyer to create a "third force" in the UK betting market behind Ladbroke and William Hill.

Ladbroke is expected to send out bid documents this weekend to around 16 potential bidders, including Stanley, the Tote and a host of venture capital groups such as Nikko, Nomura, CVC and Charterhouse.

Mr Steinberg said that if the Tote were to use all of its pounds 400m war chest to bid for Coral he would pull out. "That sum will be over any of the prices that anybody is willing to pay," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own