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Beth Houghton, investment director, Palatine Private Equity

Palatine backs MBO of amusement and gaming division of Inspired Gaming

Manchester-based Palatine Private Equity has backed the management buyout of the amusement and gaming division of Midlands-based Inspired Gaming, in a deal introduced by Clearwater Corporate Finance.

The deal is the second investment from Palatine’s Fund II. As part of the deal, the amusement and gaming division of Burton-upon-Trent-based Inspired Gaming, which has operations in Warrington, London and Burton, will be renamed Playnation.
Playnation is a supplier of amusement and gaming machines and supplies holiday parks, motorway services, bowling centres and airports, including Butlins, Haven, Parkdean, Park Resorts, Moto, Roadchef, Welcome Break, Tenpin and First Bowl. Turnover is expected to reach GBP31m in 2013.
Under the terms of the acquisition 350 staff will be transferred under TUPE agreement from Inspired Gaming to the new Playnation business.
Palatine has acquired a majority shareholding in the business, which is led by chief executive Adam Hodges.
Palatine’s managing partner Gary Tipper, investment director Beth Houghton (pictured) and investment executive James Winterbottom worked on the deal for Palatine. Tipper and Houghton join the board of the company as non-executive directors. A non-executive chairman will be appointed in due course.
Houghton says: “Playnation has retained a loyal client base and achieved steady growth over the past few years, so we are delighted to back Adam and his management team. We look forward to working with Adam and his team to strengthen Playnation’s position as the leader in the amusement and gaming industry.”
Hodges says: “This is a really exciting time for Playnation. We are all really looking forward to moving the business forward with the help of the investment fromPalatine. We are well placed for growth, with a fantastic roster of clients. We are pleased Palatine are working with us at this transformational time for the business.”
Clearwater Corporate Finance advised management and Palatine on the transaction.
The acquisition finance team at Lloyds Bank provided senior debt, cap-ex and revolving credit facilities to support Palatine.

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