anada-based Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited announced today the close of the previously announced sale and leaseback of real estate properties in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, including the Grand Villa Casino Burnaby, Starlight Casino New Westminster and Cascades Casino Langley. Total proceeds exceeded $500 million, with net proceeds to Gateway estimated to be approximately $483 million.
“This closing marks the largest financial transaction in our company’s recent history. We are committed to using the substantial resources of our company, including the additional liquidity unlocked today, to reduce debt and continue growing Gateway, for the benefit of all of our stakeholders”
Through its subsidiaries Gateway continues to operate the three properties under leases with affiliates of the new landlord, Mesirow Realty Sale-Leaseback, and offers the same exceptional customer experience with no expected changes to employees or operations at these locations. Following this transaction, Gateway continues to hold a significant real estate portfolio and will evaluate opportunities to optimize its capital structure in and around its operations.
“This closing marks the largest financial transaction in our company’s recent history. We are committed to using the substantial resources of our company, including the additional liquidity unlocked today, to reduce debt and continue growing Gateway, for the benefit of all of our stakeholders,” said Tony Santo, Gateway’s Chief Executive Officer.
Gabriel de Alba, Gateway’s Executive Chairman, added, “This transaction proves that, in addition to a winning strategy and top-notch operations, Gateway has the discipline and expertise to take steps that can unlock value and contribute to our ability to drive long-term success. The fact that the sale leaseback was conducted in coordination with a significant refinancing, debt reduction and return of capital to investors, is a testament to our efforts at value creation and reflects the strength of the company.”
Added de Alba, “Gateway is a premier operator in the gaming industry and continues to perform and excel across all metrics, operationally and financially. We look forward to continuing to drive this performance and maintaining a leadership position within the sector.”
Mesirow Financial’s Sale-Leaseback Capital group arranged for the purchase of the three Gateway properties. The acquisition financing was structured in collaboration with Mesirow Financial’s Credit Tenant Lease (CTL), as well as its Institutional Sales and Trading division.
Bennett Jones LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Gateway. Colliers International, Capital Markets Group, also advised Gateway on the transaction.