Stanley Leisure plc - Sunday 12th of June 2005
Stanley Leisure plc is pleased to announce the completion of the disposal of its
Retail Bookmaking Operations to William Hill PLC.
Following the disposal of the Retail Bookmaking Operations, John Whittaker,
Managing Director of the Betting Division, will resign as a director of Stanley
Leisure plc at the meeting of the Board of the Company in July. The Board
thanks him for his long and distinguished contribution to the successful growth
of the Group's betting business and is pleased to confirm that he will continue
to be responsible for Stanley Leisure's international bookmaking operations.
As announced on 16 May 2005, the Board has been reviewing the future capital
structure of the Group. Having regard for the net disposal proceeds, the
Group's current indebtedness and taking account of expected capital expenditure
requirements and investment opportunities, the Board announces its intention to
return approximately £325m to shareholders, representing 250 pence per share.
The Group has already renegotiated its bank facilities to reflect the reduction
in the scale of the Group's activities. The new facility has been agreed with
minor changes to the financial covenants and allows for the return of surplus
capital to shareholders. It is anticipated that following the return of capital
approximately £50m of the facility will be drawn. Pending the return of capital
the Group will repay its existing indebtedness and place the balance on deposit.
The Board intends that the return of capital will be structured so as to give
shareholders a choice between receiving income or capital. Further details will
be announced on 18 July 2005 with the Group's preliminary results for the year
ended 30 April 2005. A circular to shareholders concerning the proposed return
of capital is expected to be posted to all shareholders shortly thereafter. The
Board expects that the return of capital will be completed by the end of
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