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Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. to Acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming
Tilman J. Fertitta and Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. announced today that Landcadia II has entered into a Purchase Agreement to acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. (“GNOG”), a US online real money casino owned by Tilman Fertitta, recognized by both its peers and customers alike as the industry leading online casino that brought Live Dealer to the US market place. Landcadia II is a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company co-sponsored by Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc.
GNOG will become only the second pure publicly traded online casino company in the US. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Upon closing, Landcadia II intends to change its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. and its Nasdaq trading symbol to GNOG.
“GNOG is one of the best positioned companies to capitalize on this massive online gaming opportunity in the US,” said Rich Handler, Co-Chairman of Landcadia II and CEO of Jefferies LLC. “We at Jefferies couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Tilman and bring this great opportunity to the public markets.”
Golden Nugget is a household name throughout the United States and its iGaming business is a well-established leader in New Jersey, the largest online gaming market in North America. GNOG has obtained market access, subject to regulatory approval, to Pennsylvania and Michigan and anticipates launching its online casino brand in each of those new markets in early 2021.
GNOG is known among its industry peers as the preeminent operator in the US online gaming market, having won the EGR North America Top Operator Award for three consecutive years. GNOG is known for its innovation, including initiating Live Dealer, Live Casino Floor gambling and a number of exclusive slot machine games to mobile devices, tablets and computers throughout New Jersey, as well as its top-notch 24/7 customer support.
Tilman J. Fertitta will remain GNOG’s Chairman and CEO, and Thomas Winter, who was brought in to develop Golden Nugget’s online gaming business, will continue to serve as GNOG’s President. During the seven years since Thomas Winter started Golden Nugget’s iGaming business in New Jersey, revenues and profitability have grown each year despite facing competition with greater financial resources. According to Mr. Fertitta, “Golden Nugget is one of the most time-honored brands in the gaming business today. When customers hear the name Golden Nugget, they know they are dealing with a trusted online gaming business. Thomas and his team have done a remarkable job, are the best in the industry, and with this transaction, will have access to growth capital to allow for the rapid expansion of the business.”
- Started operation in New Jersey Q4 2013
- Became profitable in 2016
- First online gaming company to launch Live Dealer in the US
- Won Industry award as top operator 3 years in a row
- First to launch Live Casino Floor in US
- Net Income of over $11 million in 2019
Key Transaction Terms
The transaction values the combined company at an anticipated pro forma enterprise value of approximately $745 million, or 6.1x GNOG’s estimated 2021 revenue of $122 million. The consideration payable to the parent entity of GNOG will consist of a combination of cash and rollover equity in Landcadia II. Upon completion of the transaction, Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman and CEO, will, through the parent entity of GNOG, hold a controlling economic interest (through an Up-C structure described below) and a controlling voting interest in the combined company. The combined company will have a dual-class share structure with super voting rights for Mr. Fertitta.
Landcadia II will be assuming $150 million of GNOG debt of and will pay down at closing an additional $150 million of its debt, plus pay prepayment fees, transaction fees and expenses. Subject to redemptions, there is approximately $321 million currently held in Landcadia II’s trust account. Upon payment of the purchase price, debt repayment and transaction fees and expenses, the combined company will have at least $80 million on its consolidated balance sheet at closing and an anticipated pro forma equity market capitalization of nearly $700 million.
The transaction will be structured as an Up-C where an entity indirectly owned by Mr. Fertitta will retain common units of a partnership managed by the combined company and an equal number of non-economic voting shares in the combined company. The combined company will also enter into a customary tax receivable arrangement with such entity indirectly owned by Mr. Fertitta, which will provide for the sharing of tax benefits relating to certain pre-combination tax attributes, as well as tax attributes generated by the transaction and any subsequent sales or exchanges by the entity indirectly owned by Mr. Fertitta of their equity interests, as those attributes are realized by the combined company.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Landcadia II, upon the unanimous recommendation of a committee comprised solely of Landcadia II’s disinterested independent directors (the “Committee”). The transaction will require the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares of Landcadia II, excluding shares beneficially owned by Tilman J. Fertitta and Jefferies Financial Group, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals. Jefferies LLC is acting as exclusive financial and capital markets advisor to Landcadia II. Haynes and Boone LLP is acting as legal advisor to GNOG. White & Case LLP is acting as legal advisor to Landcadia II. Houlihan Lokey, Inc. is serving as financial advisor to the Committee of Landcadia II.
SOURCE Landcadia Holdings II, Inc.