Penn National gets FTC, Nevada nod to acquire Pinnacle

Penn National gets FTC, Nevada nod to acquire Pinnacle

Penn National Gaming will be closing the deal to acquire Pinnacle Entertainment for $2.8 billion by “mid-October,” after the last of numerous regulators approved the merger, according to a press release.

The casino operator said it had obtained approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board, after having gotten permission from 13 other states to proceed with the acquisition. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the deal earlier this week.

Penn CEO Timothy Wilmott said, “We are grateful to the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board for their thorough and diligent review of the applications and filings related to our pending transaction with Pinnacle Entertainment. With these approvals in hand, we look forward to the upcoming closing of the transaction in mid-October and officially welcoming Pinnacle Entertainment’s team members to the Penn National family.”

The deal provides for Pinnacle shareholders to receive $20 per share in cash and 0.420 shares of Penn National per Pinnacle share. In a March 29 vote, 99% of shareholders of Penn and Pinnacle expressed their approval of the merger.

To assuage fears of antitrust violations, the deal provides for four Pinnacle properties to be sold to Boyd Gaming Corp. for $525 million, leaving 12 properties to be absorbed by Penn. Two of the properties, Ameristar St. Charles and Ameristar Kansas City, are located in Missouri, while Belterra Casino Resort is located in Indiana, and Belterra Park is in Ohio.

Another condition of the agreement is the sale of Penn’s real estate assets of Plainridge Park and Belterra Park to Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI) for $315 million.

Upon finalization of the transaction, Penn will operate a total of 41 gaming facilities which hold 53,000 slot machines, 1,300 gaming tables, and 8,300 hotel rooms, and employ about 35,000 people.

Penn is also expanding its sports betting operations, obtaining approval in West Virginia, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania, which granted Penn’s application early this week.