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Twin River to acquire trio of Caesars and Eldorado casinos


Twin River Worldwide has struck an agreement to acquire Eldorado Resorts properties in Louisiana and Nevada, and Caesars Entertainment’s Bally’s Atlantic City.

The agreement with Eldorado sees it take over the Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Casino Resort & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for a purchase price of $155m. 

Eldorado had previously struck agreements to sell the properties to Maverick Gaming, but said these agreements had been terminated as a result of the Twin River deal, with the deposits paid by the original acquirer now returned. 

Each deal remains subject to Eldorado completing its acquisition of Caesars Entertainment, and subject to Federal Trade Commission clearance, each is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

“The agreement to divest Shreveport and MontBleu to Twin River Worldwide Holdings is consistent with our continued focus on closing the Caesars transaction in the first half of 2020,” Eldorado chief executive Tom Reeg said.

The $25m deal for Bally’s Atlantic City, struck with Caesars and Vici Properties – a real estate investment trust (REIT) spun off from the operator in 2017 – covers certain assets and the property on which they are operated. Twin River will also acquire the license to build a sportsbook and launch online betting and gaming from the property. The deal is expected to be completed late in 2020, or early 2021.

“We look forward to the reopening of Bally’s Atlantic City as soon as appropriate once the public health emergency related to COVID-19 has passed,” Caesars CEO Tony Rodio commented. “We appreciate Twin River’s commitment to this property, which has a great future ahead under its stewardship.”

Vici Properties president and operations chief John Payne added: ”The sale of Bally’s Atlantic City demonstrates our ongoing commitment to work collaboratively with our tenants to optimize our individual businesses, even during these unprecedented times.

”This transaction allows us to maintain the existing financial terms of our master lease with Caesars and helps balance our geographic diversification as we work to complete the acquisition of Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.”

Twin River expands into Louisiana, New Jersey and Nevada for the first time through the acquisitions, giving it a presence in eight states should the deals be completed. 

Across the three properties, it will add 3,318 slots, 2,092 hotel rooms and 176 tables, in addition to 6,000 square feet of convention space at Eldorado Shreveport, to its portfolio.

“These acquisitions represent a unique opportunity to continue executing on our expansion and diversification strategy at attractive valuation multiples,” Twin River president and CEO George Papanier explained. 

“We see significant opportunities to create cross marketing connections for customers at multiple Twin River locations, and we look forward to applying our proven operating and integration approach to drive incremental revenues and cash flows.”

The operator’s chairman Soo Kim described the acquisitions as “a great deal for Twin River”. 

“It reaffirms our commitment to employees, customers and the communities in which we operate that Twin River will be stronger than ever.”

Twin River plans to fund the transactions with a combination of cash on hand and by upsizing its existing credit facility. Citizens Capital Markets served as its financial advisors, with Jones Day serving as legal advisor in relation to the transactions. 

“Despite the uncertainties presented by the current health crisis, we continue to execute our strategy to position Twin River for long-term growth and profitability,” Papanier added. 

“Completion of these transactions will meaningfully enhance our financial profile, while strengthening our presence in a number of key geographic markets.”