Spain’s largest casino operator, Cirsa Gaming Corporation SA, has reportedly been purchased by American private equity management firm The Blackstone Group via a deal that is rumored to be worth as much as €2.5 billion ($3 billion).
According to a Sunday report from CalvinAyre.com, The Blackstone Group overcame competition from fellow New York-based rival Apollo Global Management to buy Cirsa Gaming Corporation SA and will now take control of the gaming firm’s casino, sportsbetting and bingo operations in Latin America, Italy and Spain.
CalvinAyre.com reported that Cirsa Gaming Corporation SA, which was established by billionaire Spanish businessman Manuel Lao Hernandez in 1978, is responsible for some 147 casinos offering around 75,000 slots as well as approximately 70 bingo venues and over 2,000 sports wagering terminals. It detailed that the Barcelona-headquartered operator furthermore runs the Spain-facing Sportium sportsbetting operation in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Ladbrokes Coral Group and saw its revenues for the whole of last year surpass €1.7 billion ($2.1 billion).
The terms of the deal will reportedly also see Cirsa Gaming Corporation SA’s long-time Chief Executive Officer, Joaquim Agut, replace 73-year-old Hernandez as Chairman although the latter is to maintain complete control of the firm’s operations in Argentina and run this business as a separate entity.
CalvinAyre.com reported that Cirsa Gaming Corporation SA had been considering an initial public offering should it fail in its efforts to secure a direct sale while Hernandez purportedly used a Friday joint statement to declare that the operator will now be able to benefit from the ‘enthusiasm and ambition’ of The Blackstone Group.
Hernandez moreover reportedly used the statement to express his gratitude towards the firm’s employees while additionally proclaiming that the company had profited from Agut’s ‘exceptional leadership’.
For his part, Lionel Assant, Senior Managing Director and European Head of Private Equity for The Blackstone Group, reportedly stated that he was ‘happy to make this investment’ before pronouncing that his firm would be supporting Agut’s strategies and look to grow Cirsa Gaming Corporation SA ‘both organically and through acquisitions and in new geographical areas’.