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Apollo Global Launches Bid For Great Canadian Gaming Casinos

Posted on November 19, 2020 | 7:50 am

Apollo Global Management, a wealthy and powerful private equity firm, has agreed to acquire land-based casino operator Great Canadian Gaming Corporation in a deal worth just over 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, or 3.3 billion Canadian dollars.

The deal would see Apollo purchase all outstanding shares issued by Great Canadian Gaming at a price of 39 Canadian dollars per share. The funds used would be managed by affiliates.

The takeover wouldn’t displace Great Canadian’s headquarters from Toronto, and the management team would remain Canadian, as well as the majority of the board members.

The deal is still awaiting several approvals, but the Great Canadian board of directors has already voted unanimously in support of the proposal. The shareholders will also get to have their say in a meeting that is scheduled to take place next month.

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Driving Additional Growth

Great Canadian was established back in 1982 and since then it has grown into one of the largest gaming and entertainment companies in the country. The company now owns 25 land-based casinos and gaming venues across Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with over 16,000 slot machines, 575 table games, 71 dining amenities and over 500 hotel rooms.

There are currently 9,500 employees working for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation across the country, and the new majority shareholders are planning to increase that number.

Speaking about their plans, Apollo Global partner Alex van Hoek said“Great Canadian is a leader in the gaming and entertainment industry and, based on our experience and knowledge of the space, we see opportunities to work with their talented team to drive additional growth and value.

We also recognise the challenges of the current circumstances and are committed to working with the management team, regulators and health authorities to allow the Company to reopen its properties as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

Rod Baker, Chief Executive Officer at Great Canadian, added“We believe that this transaction is beneficial for our shareholders, our team members, our guests, and other stakeholders as we continue to execute on our operational and development plans into 2021 and beyond, while we navigate through this volatile time.

Factoring in our long-term prospects, this transaction will unlock value for our shareholders at a significant premium to our current share price.”

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No Longer Interested in William Hill

Apollo has also been in the mix for the acquisition of global online casino and sportsbook operator William Hill. The company had initially submitted a rival bid to Caesars’ offer of 2.9 billion pounds, an offer which was preferred by William Hill’s board.

That led Apollo to announce last week that it will not pursue their interest in William Hill, leaving Caesars Entertainment alone in the race to acquire the betting operator.

However, Apollo has made another gambling-related acquisition agreement last week: they will be investing almost 600 million U.S. dollars in Sazka Group, a pan-European lottery and gaming giant.

Source: “Apollo Funds to acquire Great Canadian Gaming for CAD$3.3bn“iGB North America. November 13, 2020.

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