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US – Eldorado buys Tropicana Entertainment from Carl Ichan

By - 16 April 2018

Eldorado Resorts is buying Tropicana Entertainment from US businessman Carl Icahn for $1.85bn although the MontBleu Casino in South Lake Tahoe and the Tropicana Aruba Casino won’t be included in the deal.

The deal will seven casinos in six states brought into the Eldorado portfolio, including the Tropicana Laughlin Hotel in Nevada as well as casinos in Indiana (Tropicana Evansville), Louisiana (Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel), Mississippi (Trop Casino Greenville), Missouri (Lumière Place) and New Jersey (Tropicana Casino and Resort, Atlantic City).

These properties include approximately 7,900 slot machines, 265 table games and approximately 5,400 hotel rooms along with a number of dining, retail and entertainment amenities. Upon completion of all pending transactions, Eldorado’s expanded property portfolio will feature approximately 26,800 slot machines and VLTs, more than 800 table games and over 12,500 hotel rooms.

Gary Carano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eldorado, said: “With our proposed acquisition of Tropicana Entertainment, Eldorado Resorts is yet again pursuing a large transaction that is expected to be accretive, further increase the scale of our regional gaming platform and drive free cash flow growth. Our recent initiatives to enhance shareholder value, including the Tropicana transaction and our agreement to divest two properties, reflect significant milestones in the successful ongoing execution of our long-term strategy to opportunistically expand our regional gaming platform. Over the last twelve months, we have created tremendous shareholder value through our ability to realize and exceed the anticipated synergies from the Isle of Capri transaction which quickly reduced our initial purchase price multiple and we expect to achieve the same with the Tropicana transaction.

“The acquisition of seven Tropicana Entertainment properties will allow Eldorado to enter two new gaming jurisdictions and deliver additional financial and geographic diversity to our operating base. We have identified $40 million of synergies that we expect to realize in the first year of our ownership. We believe the financing structure for the transaction, which includes the participation of a real estate investment trust, represents an innovative means to drive growth and add value for our shareholders while maintaining financial flexibility as we continue to own the majority of the underlying real estate across our remaining property portfolio.

“As we have done over the past several years with other major transactions, Eldorado Resorts intends to implement our proven strategy of enhancing margins by further improving customer service and the customer experience while focusing on promotion and other spending in all areas of the newly acquired properties. Overall, the Tropicana portfolio is in good shape and we have no immediate significant capex plans for the properties. Ultimately, we believe that the addition of the highly complementary Tropicana Entertainment assets to the Eldorado Resorts family of properties will result in attractive near- and long-term growth for Eldorado and another opportunity to create new value for shareholders.”

Eldorado has also bought a 50 per cent interest in the Grand Victoria Casino- Elgin in Illinois from MGM Resorts for $327.5m in cash, subject to a working capital adjustment.

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