Gaming agrees to a private buy-out
Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN)
has agreed to be acquired by a private joint venture.
The company which owns 18 casinos and racetracks will be taken
over by the private firms Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE:FIG)
and Centerbridge Partners LP for $6.1 billion. Investors will
get $67 per share, Penn announced today, or over 30% higher than
yesterday's closing price. The new owners will also assume the
$2.8 billion in debts Penn National Gaming Inc. has accumulated.
The agreement allows Penn to look for
higher bidders in the next 45 days. Many believe that Penn
National has one of the best gambling management in the country,
with names such as Peter Carlino and William Clifford, and the
management team will stay with the company after the new owners
take over the reins.
Although rumors of a take-over have been
surrounding Penn National for quite some time, the acquisition
announcement caught many analysts by surprise. According to
market watchers, the company was not even on the radar for an
upcoming buy-out. But the actual agreement was no surprise to
anyone. It comes as a part of a continuing trend of gambling
companies take-overs, following the recent purchases of Harrah's
Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:HET), Station Casinos Inc. (NYSE:STN)
and the bid for Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ:TRMP).
Many private investors are attracted to the cash flow of the
casinos and the real estate, therefore the trend is expected to
Penn anticipates the deal to be
completed within the next 12 to 18 months, pending approval by
regulatory bodies. If the deal is not finished by June 15th
2008, the firms will pay an additional 1.49 cents a day per
share for each day after.
Penn National Gaming Inc. owns or
operates gaming properties located in Colorado, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Ontario
and West Virginia. Penn also acquired the Zia Park Racetrack and
Black Gold Casino in New Mexico this April, and will open
gambling facilities in Pennsylvania and Main by 2008. Penn also
offers online horse racing betting to residents of 14 states.
Published on 06/15/2007