Gateway Casinos & Entertainment parent firm GTWY Holdings and Leisure Acquisition Corp have jointly announced the striking of a definitive agreement for a business combination whereby Leisure will merge into a wholly-owned subsidiary of GTWY in a deal worth circa US$1.1bn.  

HG Vora Capital Management, on behalf of certain of its affiliates, is supporting the transaction through a US$30m equity commitment. The firm has committed more than $100m in total, including previously invested capital. 

Gateway, has also confirmed that on completion of the transaction, Marc J Falcone, currently a Director of Leisure, will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Gateway. Tony Santo, Gateway’s current CEO, will retire from the company but continue as an advisor to the Board of Directors and Falcone for three months. 

With 25 properties across British Columbia and Ontario – up from 10 in 2015 – Gateway has significantly expanded its footprint, while diversifying and expanding its product offering to include well-known proprietary casino and restaurant brands.  

Gabriel de Alba, Managing Director and Partner of Catalyst and Executive Chairman of Gateway, stated: “With its strong corporate and property operating teams, diversified growth initiatives, and industry-leading operating model, Gateway has built tremendous momentum and established a solid foundation for ongoing growth.  

“We are proud of the team and their many accomplishments over the last six years which include doubling our locations and adjusted EBITDA, increasing our slot machines by nearly three-times, increasing our table games by over two-times and adding 56 new F&B outlets across British Columbia and Ontario. 

“The disciplined execution of our near- and long-term strategies has created significant value and returns over the years for all of the company’s shareholders.  We are thankful to Tony for his leadership of Gateway and his key role going forward.”

“As we seek to execute against our many growth initiatives and deliver additional shareholder value, we are excited to partner with Leisure and appreciative of the confidence in our future as demonstrated by HG Vora’s investment commitment.  We welcome Marc to Gateway and look forward to his leadership as our incoming CEO.”