Century Casinos makes deal with VICI Properties to sell and lease back four casinos
Century Casinos, which owns and operates casino hotels in North America, has signed a new leaseback sale agreement with VICI Properties. As part of the deal, VICI will take possession of four gambling establishments located in the Canadian province of Alberta. The properties in question are Century Casino & Hotel Edmonton, Century Casino St. Albert and Century Mile Racetrack and Casino (both in Edmonton), and Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Calgary.
The aggregate purchase price was $164.4 million (R13.6 billion). Most of this amount ($142.6 million or R11.8 billion) is to be paid to subsidiaries of Century Casinos.
The properties sold were collectively referred to as Century Canadian Portfolio. The new deal will be part of an existing master lease agreement between Century Casinos and VICI Properties. The term of the master agreement will be extended to 15 years after closing, with a lease guarantee from Century Casinos. The agreement is expected to take effect in the second half of the year after regulatory approval.
Century Casinos co-directors Erwin Heitzmann and Peter Hetzinger said the deal will unlock real estate value for the operator’s Canadian portfolio. It will also allow the company to expand its presence in the local market while providing increased financial flexibility.
Regarding plans to use the proceeds, the co-directors commented, We intend to use the sale proceeds to fund improvements at Nugget and for general corporate purposes. We are also considering using a portion of the proceeds to repay the debt under our credit agreement and/or return funds to shareholders through share repurchases and/or special dividend payments.
Note: Total revenue for New Jersey’s gambling sector was nearly $463 million in April.
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