Canadian casino operator Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited has announced the details of a one-off restructuring that is to see it merge with special purpose acquisitions firm Leisure Acquisition Corporation and gain a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Vancouver-headquartered firm used an official Friday press release to declare that the planned scheme has ‘a pro forma enterprise valuation’ of around $1.115 billion and will involve Tony Santo retiring as its Chief Executive Officer to be replaced by Leisure Acquisition Corporation’s current Leisure Director, Marc Falcone.

Able assistance:

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited is responsible for over 25 properties spread across Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia and moreover stated that Santo is due to serve as an advisor to his successor ‘for three months following his retirement’ in order to help ensure ‘an orderly transition’.

Capital commitment:

Gabriel De Alba, Executive Chairman for Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited, used the press release to reveal that the planned union is being supported via an equity pledge of about $30 million from HG Vora Capital Management and will allow the enlarged entity to execute multiple growth strategies encompassing property renovations and re-brandings alongside a pipeline of new developments.

Read a statement from De Alba…

“With its strong corporate and property operating teams, diversified growth initiatives and industry-leading operating model, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited has built tremendous momentum and established a solid foundation for ongoing growth. As we seek to execute against our many growth initiatives and deliver additional shareholder value, we are excited to partner with Leisure Acquisition Corporation and appreciative of the confidence in our future as demonstrated by HG Vora Capital Management’s investment commitment. The entire Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited team looks forward to working with the team at Leisure Acquisition Corporation to create long-term value for shareholders.”

Investor interest:

For his part, Falcone proclaimed that he is ‘excited’ to be named as the incoming Chief Executive Officer for an expanded Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited and believes that the merger will allow the Canadian firm ‘to continue to achieve attractive returns for its shareholders.’

Falcone’s statement read…

“I am grateful for the confidence placed in me by Gabriel, HG Vora Capital Management LLC and the leadership of Leisure Acquisition Corporation. I believe the Canadian gaming market offers unparalleled growth opportunities and Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited has always been a platform that I found to be highly-compelling. I look forward to creating significant shareholder value alongside the rest of the Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited management team.”