Eldorado Resorts Completes $1.7 Billion Takeover of Isle of Capri Casinos

Posted on: May 2, 2017, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: May 2, 2017, 11:36h.

Eldorado Resorts has finalized its $1.7 billion merger with Isle of Capri Casinos, a marriage that will create a powerful new force in the regional casino markets.

Gary Carano’s Eldorado Resorts acquires Isle of Capri Casinos
Gary Carano, CEO of the enlarged Eldorado Resorts, said that the companies new reach into new regional markets will minimize market-specific risk. (Image: Mike Higdon/Reno Gazette-Journal)

The deal will more than double the size of Eldorado, creating a combined company that will own 19 properties in 10 states across the US.

Eldorado, founded in 1973 in Reno, is a NASDAQ-listed gaming company that, prior to this week’s merger, owned seven casinos across several states, including three in Nevada.

In 2015, it purchased Circus Circus from MGM, the only casino it owns in Las Vegas itself. The company had begun its aggressive expansion campaign the previous year with the acquisition of Delaware-based racino operator MTR Gaming.    

Isle of Capri, meanwhile, was founded by the late Bernie Goldstein with his establishment of America’s first riverboat casino in Bettendorf, Iowa, in 1991, with a  second opening in Biloxi, Mississippi the following year. In 2000, it acquired the Lady Luck brand.

$35 Million in Cost Savings

The enlarged company is expected to achieve cost synergies of approximately $35 million in its first year. Together, the companies would have generated $1.7 billion in revenues and $394 million in adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) for the 2016 calendar year.

“Our acquisition of Isle of Capri marks a significant milestone in Eldorado’s history of growth through strategic, accretive acquisitions,” said Gary Carano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eldorado. “The combination significantly expands the scale of our gaming operations, further diversifies our geographic reach into new markets and minimizes market-specific risk.

“Our experience in integrating the MTR assets and Silver Legacy and Circus Circus operations will serve us well as we add the Isle of Capri assets to our operating base,” he added.

$2.1 Billion Financing Deal

Eldorado acquired all outstanding shares of Isle of Capri for $23.00 or 1.638 shares of Eldorado common stock. It funded the takeover with $2.1 billion in financing from JP Morgan.

“The financing for the transaction was executed at favorable rates that should permit us to generate more incremental annual free cash flow than we originally expected,” said Tom Reeg, President and Chief Financial Officer.

“With our experienced management team, operating discipline and return-focused approach to capital expenditures, we believe the acquisition represents another meaningful opportunity for Eldorado Resorts and our existing and new shareholders.”

The company’s stock will continue to trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “ERI.”