Published November 22, 2020 by Sol FH
Apollo Global makes a US$2.5b bid to obtain all of the Great Canadian Gaming’s outstanding shares.
One of the biggest Canadian casino operators, Great Canadian Gaming Corp (GCG) is at the center of a private equity takeover, as a US-based mega private equity group – Apollo Global Management, has made a $2.5b bid for all its shares across 25 properties in four Canadian provinces. Some of the shareholders are still holding out for a bigger deal, but, GCG announced that it had inked a definitive agreement with Apollo.
The deal, which values the operator at US$2.52b, would be the biggest of its kind for a Canadian operator. Apollo is not interested in making drastic management changes, and has said that it was “committed to maintaining the company’s current operational footprint and it anticipates GCGs properties will increase under the Apollo Funds’ ownership.”
GCG has said that it would stay in its Toronto headquarters and would remain to be “led by a Canadian management team and with Canadian board members.”
Most of the GCG Casinos are based in Ontario, the biggest province in Canada, including Casino Woodbine. Other brick and mortar casinos include the River Rock Resort in British Columbia. This deal comes at a time when virtually all land-based casinos are closed due to COVID-19, but, as plans for reopening are made, these lockdowns will decrease.
Some of the shareholders that are holding out for more money, include Toronto investment firm, Boombergsen Investment Partners, owners of close to 14% of GCG. They believe that Apollo’s bid undervalues the operator and its long-term value.
Two other minority shareholders, Madison Avenue Partners and Breach Inlet Capital Investors, apparently share this view.
Ontario is set to stop the monopoly of online gaming and will soon allow operators to offer iGaming therein. This could very well be a driver for the bid.
GCG Shareholders will vote on the offer in December.
Apollo has apparently seen the value in the gaming sector. They recently took a €500m stake in the Sazka Group, Czech lottery and betting operator’s