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Affinity Gaming to sell 3 northern Nevada casinos
by Associated Press
Sep 08, 2012 | 2406 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The owner of three northern Nevada casinos has agreed to a tentative deal to sell the properties for $19.2 million to a private investment group that includes a current officer of the present holding company.

Affinity Gaming announced the sale of the casinos in Reno, Verdi and Dayton to Truckee Gaming on Friday.

Ferenc Szony, Affinity's chief operating officer, will leave that company to become a managing principal at Truckee Gaming, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He will initially own 100 percent of the equity interests but his stake will be reduced by other investors.

The deal is subject to Nevada regulatory approval. Truckee Gaming also agreed to allow Affinity to solicit competitive bids for the three casinos through Sept. 30.

A new bidder would have to pay above the $19.2 million price and a $750,000 break-up fee to cover Truckee Gaming's expenses.

"We believe the agreement with Truckee Gaming offers fair value for these assets," Affinity Chief Executive Officer David Ross said in a statement. "But we are taking the additional step of running a formal process to ensure that the company receives the highest consideration possible."

Affinity was formed following the December 2010 bankruptcy reorganization of Herbst Gaming, and Szony is one of the last remaining links between Affinity and Herbst. He joined Herbst in 2007 when the company acquired five northern Nevada casinos for $140 million.

Sale of the northern Nevada casinos would leave Affinity with six casinos in southern Nevada, including three Primm resorts and the off-Strip casino Terrible's in Las Vegas. Affinity also operates casinos in Iowa and Missouri and is awaiting regulatory approval in Colorado to take over three casinos the company acquired in a deal with Golden Gaming.

Ross said the sale "represents the substantial completion of our divestiture of noncore assets, which we identified nearly two years ago and which we carved out of our recently completed refinancing."

"With this sale, we are able to focus management's time on executing our long-term growth and expansion strategy and delivering the greatest value to our shareholders," he said.

Affinity said it expects the deal to close before June 2013.
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