Golden Nugget Plans $5.55 Billion in Bond Sales

Posted on: January 5, 2022, 10:56h. 

Last updated on: January 5, 2022, 11:17h.

Golden Nugget, the land-based casino business controlled by billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta, could sell $5.55 billion worth of corporate bonds to refinance previously issued debt at more favorable terms.

Golden Nugget
Tilman Fertitta in his office in May 2019. His Golden Nugget casino business is selling $5.55 billion in bonds. (Image: Houston Chronicle)

The gaming operator will reportedly sell $1.85 billion worth of seven-year leveraged loans and secured and unsecured issues of the same size, Bloomberg reports, citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter.

Along with a new revolving credit facility, proceeds from the offerings will be used to refinance existing debt,” according to the news agency.

It’s believed Jefferies, a long-standing lender to Fertitta’s businesses. is running the debt sales for Fertitta’s company. A conference is scheduled for later today with potential investors.

Good Time for Golden Nugget to Refi Debt

With interest rates still around historic lows, it’s an ideal time for any corporate issuer to tap the bond market. That’s particularly true if that firm is looking to refinance older debt, as appears to be the case with Golden Nugget.

In the eyes of many bond market experts, it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year to cool soaring inflation. Consensus calls for three rate hikes. But some market observers say that number could be higher if the Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues running hot.

Given the expanse of Fertitta’s business empire, which includes the Landry’s restaurant conglomerate, he’s undoubtedly in touch with inflationary pressures. Additionally, rate hikes by the Federal Reserve mean corporate issuers have to sell debt with higher coupons to lure investors away from Treasuries, which are almost risk-free.

It’s not immediately clear what Golden Nugget bonds will be refinanced with the aforementioned sales. But the gaming company has $1.345 billion worth of bonds with a coupon of 6.75 percent coming due in 2024. Additionally, Golden Nugget sold $250 million worth of leveraged loans at a whopping 15 percent in April 2020 – the darkest days of the coronavirus shutdown.

Though it caught plenty of market participants by surprise at the time, that sale is widely credited with thawing what were then frigid temperatures in US corporate debt markets.

Bond Sales Follow Failed SPAC Deal

News of Golden Nugget’s debt issuance arrives less than a month after Fertitta Entertainment (FEI) and special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) FAST Acquisition (NYSE:FST) agreed to end merger talks. That transaction would have brought Fertitta’s company back to publicly traded status after Fertitta took the business private in a 2010 leveraged buyout.

FEI paid the blank-check company up to $33 million to cover termination-related expenses. That figure includes deferred payments and is contingent upon whether or not the SPAC finds another merger partner.

Golden Nugget operates five US casinos — two in Nevada and one apiece in Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jersey.