Golden buys four South Nevada casinos including Las Vegas’ Stratosphere

  • Deal to buy four southern Nevada casinos is worth $850 million
  • Purchase will give Golden control of 15,800 slot machines and 114 table games in Nevada

The Las Vegas-based operator Golden Entertainment has finalized an $850 million deal to purchase four Southern Nevada land-based casinos, including the Stratosphere, that analysts expect will lead to a doubling in company revenue and a tripling of its cash flow.

Under the deal with American Casino and Entertainment Properties, Golden will acquire the Stratosphere and two Arizona Charlies resorts in Las Vegas as well as the Aquarius in Laughlin.

The purchase passed the last remaining legal hurdle last Thursday when the Nevada Gaming Commission gave the deal unanimous approval, and after that meeting, the Chairman and CEO of Golden, Blake Sartini said closure would be days away.

Stratosphere Hotel & Casino
Stratosphere Hotel & Casino Resort

When the deal is signed, Golden will be left operating over 15,800 slots, 114 table games and in excess of 5,100 hotel rooms spread across eight casino properties and nearly 1,000 gaming locations.

Financing

The deal was first proposed in June and will see Golden pay $781 million in cash and about 4 million shares of Golden stock to the current owner of the four casinos, Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners 2007, a real estate equity fund currently run by the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs.

When the deal goes through, Whitehall will have a stake of around 15 percent of Golden’s stock.

To enable the transaction to go ahead, Golden received financing of around $1.1 billion from JPMorgan Chase Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie Capital and Morgan Stanley & Co. towards funding the cash part of the deal and to refinance Golden’s existing credit.

The financing commitment that the company has taken on includes a $100 million revolving credit facility that will support Golden’s future expansion plans.

This isn’t Golden’s first foray into casino operations. The company currently operates the Pahrump Nugget, Lakeside and Gold Town in Pahrump along with the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone, Maryland. They also operate slot routes featuring more than 12,000 machines in Nevada and Montana.

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