On February 23 Century Casinos, Inc. ($CNTY) announced that it was buying the Nugget Casino Resort as well as a 50 percent stake in Smooth Bourbon, LLC, from Marnell Gaming for $195 million. Century Casinos can also enter into a five-year option to purchase the remainder of Smooth Bourbon for $105 million.
Smooth Bourbon owns the land and building that the Nugget resides on, and Goldman Sachs Banks USA issued a commitment letter to Century Casinos in the amount of $350 million of secured term loan financing to support the acquisition. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
“We have been looking at entering the Reno market for a long time, and we believe the Nugget is a perfect fit for our portfolio. We look forward to welcoming the great team at the Nugget to Century Casinos,” Century Casinos Co-Chief Executive Officers Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger stated in a press release. “We believe there is a lot of upside to this transaction and t we identified some areas of improvement to continue the Nugget’s growth. We expect the Nugget to seamlessly integrate and provide added synergies for Century Casinos’ U.S. portfolio,” they added.
The Nugget features 1,382 hotel rooms, seven restaurants, more than 100,000 square feet of convention space, an 8,555-seat outdoor amphitheater, and roughly 2400 parking spaces on its property. Its 50,200 square feet of casino space includes 859 slot machines and 29 table games. As of December 31, 2021, the Nugget had a net operating revenue of $100.4 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $32.8 million.
Marnell Gaming bought the Nugget back in February of 2016 and renovated its convention center, remodeled its hotel rooms, and initiated the development of the outdoor event amphitheater in Victorian Square. Details of that transaction were not disclosed and no one from Marnell Gaming could be reached for comment regarding its decision to sell the Nugget after only six years of ownership.
Century Casinos own 11 other gaming establishments within the United States, including the Century Downs Racetrack in Alberta, Canada, as well as a casino in Warsaw, Poland. At the time of Century Casinos’ announcement, its stock price rose 13 percent on NASDAQ. As of February 28, at 2 p.m. PST, Century Casinos stock was listed at $12.30 per share.