Canadian casino operator Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited has revealed the closing of a deal that will see it earn approximately $376.1 million by selling off a trio of its venues in British Columbia.

According to a Monday announcement from the Burnaby-based operator, the agreement with an entity of American financial services firm Mesirow Financial involves the Starlight Casino New Westminster, the Grand Villa Casino, Hotel and Conference Centre Burnaby and the Cascades Casino Resort Langley and represents the largest financial transaction in its recent history.

As part of the deal, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited explained that its subsidiaries are to continue operating the three Vancouver-area properties under a lease-back agreement with Chicago-headquartered Mesirow Financial. Consequently, it declared that it does not expect there to be any ‘changes to employees or operations at these locations’ with the firm continuing to hold ‘a significant real estate portfolio’.

“We are committed to using the substantial resources of our company including the additional liquidity unlocked today to reduce debt and continue growing Gateway [Casinos and Entertainment Limited] for the benefit of all of our stakeholders,” read a statement from Tony Santo, Chief Executive Officer for Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited.

For his part, Gabriel De Alba, Executive Chairman for Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited, stated that the transaction proves that the Canadian operator has ‘the discipline and expertise to take steps that can unlock value and contribute to our ability to drive long-term success’. He moreover described the exercise as indicative of the firm’s strength and ‘efforts at value creation’ as it was finalized ‘in coordination with a significant refinancing, debt reduction and return of capital to investors’.

“Gateway [Casinos and Entertainment Limited] is a premier operator in the gaming industry and continues to perform and excel across all metrics operationally and financially,” read a statement from De Alba, who moreover serves as Managing Director for Toronto-based private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Incorporated, which purchased Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited in 2010. “We look forward to continuing to drive this performance and maintaining a leadership position within the sector.”

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