pollo will pay C$39 a share for the Toronto-listed casino operator, Great Canadian Gaming said in a statement late Tuesday. That represents a 35% premium to the stock’s closing price of C$28.91. The transaction has been unanimously approved by Great Canadian’s board.
“We believe Apollo’s extensive experience in the gaming sector will provide additional strategic benefits to help expand our gaming and hospitality offerings and to secure our position as a long-term market leader,” Chief Executive Officer Rod Baker said in the statement.
Founded in 1982, Great Canadian operates 25 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The company in March temporarily suspended operations at all its properties to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Alex van Hoek, Partner at Apollo, 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. With an
industry-leading portfolio of assets and established presence in the best geographic markets
across Canada, we are excited to help bring an enhanced experience to more guests across
Van Hoek added: “We also recognize 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. We’re excited for the Company to
welcome Great Canadian team members back to work, and we look forward to a time when
employment and operations return to pre-COVID levels. We are of course also firmly committed
to complying with applicable reopening rules as the health and safety of team members and
guests will remain the highest priority.”
The firm has a history of investments in the gambling sector. Apollo teamed up with TPG for a 2008 leveraged buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. This year, it took Italian sports betting operator Gamenet Group SpA private. In September, it was edged out by Caesars in a takeover battle for British gambling group William Hill Plc.
Apollo also agreed Tuesday to invest 500 million euros ($591 million) in Sazka Group AS, to support the European lottery company’s expansion plans across the region and North America.