When one talks about casino operators in Nevada, the usual names that come to mind are the big boys – MGM Resorts, Caesars, Las Vegas Sands Corp, Station Casinos and Wynn Resorts. One does not think about Golden Entertainment as the brand isn’t very well known in the casino space. The company will now receive a lot more attention in Nevada as Golden Entertainment recently announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire four Nevada casinos.
Golden Entertainment is not very well known in the casino industry but it has established a reputation in the bar and tavern market in Southern Nevada. Golden Entertainment is the parent company to PT Entertainment Group, a subsidiary that owns a number of well established brands such as PT’s Brewing, PT’s Gold, PT’s Ranch, SG Bar, Sierra Gold and Sean Patrick’s Pub & Grill.
Cash & Stock Acquisition
Golden Entertainment has entered into an agreement to acquire American Casino & Entertainment Properties, the company which currently owns four Nevada casinos. American Casino owns the Stratosphere casino, the Aquarius in Laughlin and 2 Arizona Charlie’s properties in Las Vegas. The acquisition will be made with both cash and stock and is expected to be completed before the end of 2017, subject to regulatory approval.
Golden Entertainment closed the deal for $850 million and will pay $781 million in cash and the remaining via the 4 million shares it will issue. The amount will be paid to a real estate equity fund known as Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners 2007 as they are the current owners of the property. The fund is managed by Goldman Sach’s is Merchant Banking Division. When the transaction is finalized, Whitehall will end up controlling around 15 percent of Golden Entertainment’s shares. Since the announcement on 12 June, share prices for Golden Entertainment went up by $3.07, which was a just over an 18 percent increase and closed on $20.
Expands Gaming Portfolio
What many may not know is that Golden Entertainment has been in the casino business for sometime now. The company owns Gold Town in Pahrump, Pahrump Nugget in Lakeside and the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone, Maryland. Golden also operators close to 12,000 slot machines spread across Montana and Nevada. Once the acquisition gets regulatory approval, Golden Entertainment will run operations for 8 casinos, control over 15,800 slot machines and 114 table games and also be the owners of 5,100 hotel rooms. The company will also be operating close to1000 distributed gaming facilities and have one of the biggest established tavern portfolios in Nevada running 56 taverns under 6 brands.
Financing Details
A number of banks including Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley & Co and Macquarie Capital have funded Golden Entertainment’s acquisition proposal and loaned the company a combined total of $1.1 billion. The company is using the funds to proceed with the acquisition and also to refinance its existing credit facilities. There is also a $100 million revolving credit which is part of the $1.1 billion loan that has been approved for Golden Entertainment to proceed with its proposed growth plans for the future.
Golden Entertainment CEO Blake Sartini stated that the strategic acquisition fitted in well with the company’s plans for the future. Through its tavern portfolio the company had successfully managed to draw the elusive millennials and will now be able to offer them both gaming and non-gaming entertainment facilities with this new acquisition.
The Stratosphere
The Stratosphere is considered to be one of the iconic properties in Nevada and Golden Entertainment will operate a number of thrill rides at the top of the property. The building has a 1,149 foot tower which is still the highest freestanding observation deck in the country. There is also an 80,000 square foot casino floor, 2,427 rooms, 743 slot machines, 13 restaurants, 9 bars and 2 swimming pools at the facility, making it a flagship property for Golden Entertainment.
Golden Entertainment also has plans to use the 15 acres of space at the Stratosphere to come up with new offerings in the near future. The Stratosphere is not very far from the Strip and also within city limits.