Golden Nugget and NBA's Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is reportedly in talks to take his casino and restaurant empire public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Fast Acquisition Corp., according to Bloomberg.
The SPAC would be in talks to raise more than $1 billion in new equity to support a transaction, and the deal could value the combined entity at up to $7 billion including debt, the prestigious news agency reports. Fertitta would still control the new company, which is set to include casinos and restaurants under the Golden Nugget and Landry’s umbrellas. If talks are successful, a deal could be announced in the coming weeks.
The Texas billionaire has been mulling options including a potential initial public offering of part of the unit, Bloomberg News reported in December. In December, Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc., an online gaming and digital sports entertainment company led by Fertitta, closed its merger with Landcadia Holdings II Inc., a vehicle co-sponsored by Fertitta Entertainment Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc. An earlier vehicle, Landcadia Holdings Inc., in 2018 merged with app-based restaurant platform Waitr Holdings Inc. A third vehicle, Landcadia Holdings III Inc., raised $500 million last year to pursue a transaction.
Fast Acquisition raised $200 million last year and said it would focus on a target in the North American restaurant, hospitality and related sectors.
Fertitta first took his restaurant business public in 1993, operating it that way until 2010 when he took the company private in a $1.4 billion leveraged buyout. By then Fertitta was already expanding into casinos with the acquisition of the Golden Nugget brand. In 2017, he agreed to buy the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion.