Report: Lady Luck parent in sale talks

Published 11:06 am Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lady Luck Casino’s parent company is at the heart of published reports of a sale of its gaming properties worldwide to an investment trust created from another gaming company.

St. Louis-based Isle of Capri restarted sale talks with Gaming and Leisure Properties after previous sale negotiations broke down earlier this year, according to published reports. The company declined comment, but played down the nature of a report by Reuters on Monday that cited unnamed sources.

“We do not comment on market rumors,” said Jill Alexander, Isle’s director of corporate communication via email on Tuesday.

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Reuters reported the company is being advised by boutique investment bank Peter J. Solomon Co.

Lady Luck was renamed in 2012 after it had operated as Rainbow Casino since opening at 1380 Warrenton Road in 1994. Isle had owned a company-branded casino at 3990 Washington St. from 1993 to 2006 when it was sold and renamed DiamondJacks.

Isle of Capri has an enterprise value of $1.29 billion, comprised of $969 million in debt and $325 million in equity value. It owns and operates 15 gaming and entertainment facilities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to the company’s last earnings announcement.

Gaming and Leisure Properties is a REIT, or real estate investment trust, that in 2013 spun off from Penn National Gaming Inc.’s real estate assets. A sale to a REIT would require the trust to find an operating partner for each of Isle’s gaming operations, plus transfers of casino licenses in several states that would accompany any sale.

Isle owns and operates 15 gaming and entertainment facilities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Florida. The company’s properties in Mississippi also include company-brand casinos in Lula and Natchez.