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Nevada Gaming Commission Approves $850M Sale Of ACEP

Golden Entertainment entered into a definitive agreement in June 2017 to purchase American Casino & Entertainment Properties (ACEP) for an estimated $850 million from parent company Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners which is a real estate equity fund that is operated by Goldman Sach’s Merchant Banking Division.

Golden Entertainment had agreed to pay $781 million in cash and the sell 4 million shares to seal the deal which was subject to regulatory approval.

The five member Nevada Gaming Commission team spoke highly of Golden Entertainment’s commitment to South Nevada and CEO’s Blake Sartini’s reputation in the market and said that it was good enough for them to approve the deal which will result in Golden Entertainment acquiring four properties including the iconic Stratosphere. The other three casino properties are the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin and two Arizona Charlies properties.

Golden Entertainment owns three casinos in Pahrump, Nevada and also runs the popular PT’s Pub tavern chain. The company runs the large slot route network in Nevada and Montana and also has a casino in Maryland. The strategic acquisition of ACEP is expected to trip cash flow for Golden Entertainment and double their revenues. The company also told the Commission that it will hire ACEP’s CFO Edward Martin who will now serve as the chief administrative officer at Golden.

In a statement, Sartini said

This is really a transformational transaction for our company. We’re not building four major casino resorts from the ground up, which obviously would be a much bigger undertaking in regards to growing the company. We’re really taking on what I think is a very experienced and credible team to bolster our existing family of team members and it’s a business I’ve been involved in since 1982

The ACEP acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of this month and will result in Golden Entertainment owning a total of 8 casino properties having a combined total of 114 table games, 15,800 slot machines, 56 taverns and 5,100 hotel rooms. Golden Entertainment will employ close to 7, 200 employees across all of its properties.

The company has received from JPMorgan Chase Bank, Morgan Stanley & Co, Macquarie Capital and Credit Suisse a total of $1.1 billion in financing to complete the ACEP acquisition and refinance its existing credit facilities. This financial transaction also includes a revolving credit facility of $100 million that will allow Golden Entertainment to fund its future plans of growth and expansion.

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