Gaming and Leisure Properties is to acquire the real estate assets associated with the Casino Queen in East St Louis, Illinois.
The casino and adjacent land cover 78 +/- acres and include a 157 room hotel, a 38,000 square foot casino with 27 gaming tables and 1,155 slot machines, a fine dining steakhouse, a buffet, a quick service deli, a sports bar/entertainment venue, and full service RV park.
The resort, built in 2007, had approximately 1.7 million guest visits during the past 12 months.
Gaming and Leisure Properties has agreed to acquire the real property for USD140m. In addition, it will provide Casino Queen with a USD43m term loan, which will completely refinance and retire all or substantially all of Casino Queen's outstanding long-term debt obligations. As a condition of the purchase, GLPI will lease the property back to Casino Queen on a triple net basis for approximately USD14m per year. The term loan has a five year maturity at an interest rate of seven per cent. The initial lease term is 15 years, with an option to renew for four successive five year terms.
The transaction will be funded with the existing revolver and is expected to contribute approximately USD0.13 to annual AFFO per share, prior to the impact of the purge of historical earnings and profits. The transaction is subject to and requires approval from the Illinois Gaming Board and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
Peter M Carlino, chairman and CEO of Gaming and Leisure says: "This is our first acquisition as a standalone company and is representative of the robust opportunities that exist in the gaming asset markets that our company is targeting. Gaming and Leisure Properties seeks to become a consolidator of choice and a leading provider of unique financing solutions for highly levered regional gaming operators. The Casino Queen adds a newly constructed asset with strong market share to our portfolio and further diversifies our operating partners, while strengthening our cash flow."
Jeff Watson, president of Casino, says: "This transaction offers us the opportunity to reorganise our capital structure, with a long-term solution that provides stability for our employee-owners. Further, by unlocking the value in our real estate assets, we are able to focus on efficiently operating our business in a less restrictive, asset-lite environment."