Gala Coral executive goes back to his roots

Longbottom to return to the pub and entertainment sector

The UK land and online gambling group Gala Coral has confirmed the resignation of bingo and casino managing director Simon Longbottom, who has apparently accepted a new position in the pub and entertainment sector, where he was employed prior to joining Gala in 2004.

Longbottom's responsibilities will be taken over by Gala's gaming division commercial director, Mark Sergeant, until a new md can be found, although there has been media speculation that he may be confirmed permanently in the position.

Longbottom's departure comes at a difficult period for the parent company, which is currently the subject of a bid for control by the Blackstone group, which has offered to invest GBP 300 million.

The company's statement stressed that Longbottom’s departure was unrelated to plans to refinance Gala Coral’s GBP 540 million immediate debt burden. Overall the company reportedly owes around GBP 2.5 billion to some 200 lenders.

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