4/12/10 – Praesepe plc has consolidated its position as Britain’s fastest growing low stake, high volume gaming organisation with the acquisition of Beacon Entertainments.
 
The conditional agreement to purchase carries a purchase price of GBP 5 million and the assumption of GBP 40 million of existing bank debt. The deal will add 26 Adult Gaming Centres currently operating under the ‘Showboat’ brand and six bingo clubs under the ‘Beacon Bingo’ brand to Praesepe’s portfolio which on completion will rise to 86 venues located in England, Scotland and Wales.
 
Beacon Entertainments generated turnover of GBP 35.9 million and operating profit before depreciation, amortisation and non-recurring costs of GBP 5.4 mllion in the 56 weeks ended 26 April 2009.
 
The acquisition is expected to start generating significant synergies within the six months following completion and will be fully realised in the year ending 31 December 2011. Synergies once fully realised, will amount to approximately GBP 2 million year, a company spokesman revealed.
 
Once the deal is completed, Brian Mattingley, currently executive chairman of Beacon, will join the Praesepe board as an executive director with a focus on business development. He has extensive experience of the UK gaming sector having held senior positions at Gala Coral Group and served as chief executive of Ritz Bingo Ltd. Mattingley has been a non-executive director of 888 Holdings plc since March 2006.
 
Nick Harding, CEO at Praesepe said the deal gave Praesepe an excellent platform for growth and consolidation.
 
"We are acquiring a well run business with strong market presence in both AGCs and bingo clubs including the Beacon Club in Cricklewood, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious in the UK," he said.