Canada casino operator unloads three casinos for $376 million

It's becoming a common theme in the casino world.  A company will sell its operations or a part of them and then lease them back from the buyer.  It's simply a way for the company to generate immediate income, while not losing all of its portfolio.  The latest to look for an injection of cash is Canada's Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited casino company, which sold three of its operations to a US-based investment firm, only to lease the properties back.

Gateway inked a deal with Mesirow Financial based in Chicago, Illinois for $376 million.  In exchange for the cash, Mesirow will take ownership of Gateway's Starlight Casino New Westminster, the Cascades Casino Resort Langley and the Grand Villa Casino, Hotel and Conference Centre Burnaby.  Gateway's executive chairman, Gabriel De Alba, said that the move shows that Gateway, "...has the discipline and expertise to take steps that can unlock value and contribute to our ability to drive long-term success."

Terms of the deal are such so that the casinos will continue to operate as they have been.  There is little chance that employees will be relieved, or that operational procedures will change.  De Alba added, "We look forward to continuing to drive this performance and maintaining a leadership position within the sector.”

Mesirow is a global financial services firm that was founded in 1937 by Norman Mesirow.  It has offices in 18 cities around the world and reported revenue last year of $366 million.  The investment firm caters to global institutions, individuals, and mid-market corporations. 

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