In gaming news in Canada, Apollo Global Management Inc. has agreed to pay $39 per share or a total of $3.3-billion deal to acquire Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. This major operator has 25 facilities across Canada.
Apollo is a global investment management company with offices in New York, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, with assets worth almost $433 billion.
The private U.S. equity firm has bid to take over and expand the company, including more Canadian staff at casinos and raceways. First it has to deal with the on-going inquiry into money laundering in British Columbia.
Great Canadian Gaming has entertainment and hospitality facilities in B.C., Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but the pandemic has forced it to close them. It relies on government assistance to balance the extensive losses. So far it has received $5.9 million from the Canadian Revenue Agency.
An Apollo official has made a timely statement:
“We seek to return to pre-COVID employment levels as soon as possible
and anticipate that Great Canadian’s employee headcount will increase
under our ownership, with future expected growth.”
According to Rod Baker, the current CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, the deal is very good for shareholders. In fact, the board of directors has “unanimously concluded” that it is the company’s the best course of action.
However, it may be stymied by certain minority shareholders who are opposed to the Apollo deal. They claim that it undervalues Great Canadian Gaming’s worth. Meanwhile, the company’s stock has soared more than 35 percent.
Meanwhile, the Cullen Commission inquiry into money laundering in the Vancouver area is on the attack with a focus on the River Rock Casino in Richmond. The B.C. casino allegedly allowed transactions of $100,000 a decade ago.
Testimony from B.C. Lottery Corporation investigators reveals their effort to bar high-rolling VIPs from the River Rock after the suspicion of loan sharks providing cash. Nonetheless, casino managers and BCLC executives failed to acknowledge the practice.
Mark Skwarok, represents Great Canadian Gaming as its defense attorney. He is fighting the accusations. He has time as the shareholder vote won’t happen until Q2 next year.
After Apollo’s acquisition, the company’s headquarters will remain in Toronto and led by a Canadian management team.