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Bass buys chain of betting shops

News release

28 September 1995

Bass buys chain of betting shops

Bass PLC announces that it has agreed to acquire the entire share capital of the Arthur Prince chain of betting shops. Arthur Prince is a privately-owned company, comprising 114 betting shops located mainly in the South of England and Scotland and employing 600 people.

Bass plans to rebrand progressively the Arthur Prince betting shops to the Coral "Blue Shop" design, which has the highest turnover per betting shop in the industry. The acquisition will bring the number of Coral betting shops to 910 in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Jersey.

Commenting on the acquisition, Iain Napier, Chief Executive of Bass Leisure said, "The Arthur Prince estate is a good strategic fit for Coral and provides an opportunity to grow our betting shop business. The deal makes Coral a stronger player in the UK betting market and will allow it to accelerate the distribution of the Coral brand. I believe that we can increase the turnover per shop of the Arthur Prince estate by introducing Coral systems and standards of customer service."

There has been significant deregulation of the UK gaming industry in recent years, which has included the opening up of shop windows and window display advertising being permitted for the first time. Further deregulation is anticipated and legislation permitting AWP (Amusement with Prize) machines in betting shops in expected to be introduced during 1996.

The value of the net assets being acquired is less than one per cent of the net assets of Bass PLC and the acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first financial year of operation.

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For further information, please contact:

Susan Donovan, Media Relations, Bass PLC   0171 409 1919
Philip Whitehead, Investor Relations, Bass PLC   0171 409 8571
Malcolm Palmer, Public Relations Manager, Coral   0171 409 8153

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