The North American gambling operator, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, recently announced that it will be acquired by Apollo Global Management, a New York private alternative investment firm. The agreement sees Apollo Funds acquiring all outstanding shares in the casino company’s common stock at a cost of $39 per share. The total enterprise valuation of the transaction comes to over $3.3 billion.
The news comes after reported financial struggles by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation due to the global coronavirus pandemic. This followed additional challenges last year, when the introduction of new local anti-money laundering rules in British Columbia resulted in a 12% fall in table drop across nine facilities in the province.
As part of the agreement, the casino company will continue to operate from its Toronto-based headquarters after close of transaction. Great Canadian Gaming Corporation will also continue to be led by Canadian management and board members.
Reportedly, Apollo Global Management will eventually take over operations of 25 facilities that are currently closed. These include locations in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The New York investment firm is anticipating that the transaction will lead to growth in properties of the Great Candian Gaming Corporation, with Canadian institutions expected to co-invest upon the acquisition completion.
Various initiatives including gaming improvements, non-gaming facility expansions and marketing programs are planned to help drive further growth in the operator. Apollo is well positioned to achieve this, as a responsible sponsor and one with a successful track record of investing in organisations both in highly regulated industries and across Canada.
Chief Executive Officer of Apollo Global Management, Rod Baker, has stated the firm already has significant stakes in other gambling companies, including Gamenet Group SpA, an sportsbetting operator in Italy. He added: “We believe that our extensive experience in the gaming sector will provide additional strategic benefits to help expand our gaming and hospitality offerings to secure our position as a long-term market leader.”
Alex van Hoek, a Partner at Apollo, also recognised how the firm’s experience can help drive success for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. He said: “Great Canadian is a leader in the gaming and entertainment industry and, based on our experience and knowledge of the space, we see opportunities to work with their talented team to drive additional growth and value. With an industry-leading portfolio of assets and established presence in the best geographic markets across Canada, we are excited to help bring an enhanced experience to more guests across Canada.”
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