Great Canadian Gaming Corporation today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Apollo Funds will acquire all the outstanding shares of Great Canadian common stock for C$39.00 per share in a transaction with a total enterprise valuation exceeding C$3.3 billion.
The purchase price represents a 59% premium to the 30-day VWAP as of November 9, 2020.
Following close of the transaction, Great Canadian will remain headquartered in Toronto, led by a Canadian management team and with Canadian board members. Apollo also anticipates that certain Canadian institutions may co-invest in the transaction to become equity owners in the Company alongside the Apollo Funds upon completion of the acquisition. Apollo is a responsible sponsor and has a long track record of success investing in companies in highly regulated industries, as well as Canada-based companies.
“The Board of Directors, based on a recommendation from the special committee of independent directors, has unanimously concluded that this transaction represents the best course of action for the Company. Factoring in our long-term prospects, this transaction will unlock value for our shareholders at a significant premium to our current share price,” stated Rod Baker, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We are pleased that this transaction represents a great opportunity for our shareholders, while continuing to support the success of the business longer term. We believe this transaction is beneficial for our shareholders, our team members, our guests, and other stakeholders as we continue to execute on our operational and development plans into 2021 and beyond, while we navigate through this volatile time. In addition, 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,” concluded Baker.
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 Canada.”
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 transaction has been approved unanimously by the Board of Directors of Great Canadian, which determined that the transaction is fair from a financial point of view to shareholders and is in the best interests of the Company. The Company and the Special Committee of the Board of Directors received fairness opinions from Scotiabank and CIBC World Markets Inc., respectively.
The Board of Directors of Great Canadian also unanimously resolved to recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the transaction at the special meeting of shareholders that will be called to approve the transaction, which is expected to be held in December 2020.