Great Canadian Gaming Gets New CEO as Apollo Global Takes Over

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It was a deal in the works for around ten months, but it has finally reached a successful conclusion. Apollo Global Management, the asset fund management company with its hands in gaming operations around the globe, is now the owner of Canada’s Great Canadian Gaming (GC). With the acquisition complete, Apollo brought in an industry heavyweight to take the reins and lead the company into the future. Anthony Rodio is now the CEO of GC, as well as a member of its board of directors. Current interim CEO Terrance Doyle will become the company’s National President of Business Development going forward.

Great Canadian Gaming Acquisition Complete

The acquisition, which was approved by shareholders last December, was valued at approximately $1.9 billion. An Apollo affiliate has now successfully taken control of all of the outstanding shares of the gaming company, and shareholders will receive $35.31 (CAD$45) in cash for each GC share of common stock owned. The original agreement was reportedly for $30 per share; however, shareholders held out for more and ultimately won. The completion of the transaction also finds GC being removed from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

“Together with Apollo and my management team, we see tremendous opportunity to build on Great Canadian’s leading market position, improving the guest experience and entering new channels for growth, with a continuous focus on the importance of our relationships with our Crown agencies and other key stakeholders.”

Tony Rodio, Great Canadian Gaming CEO

GC has 26 properties across Canada and they are performing relatively well as a group. According to the company’s recent earnings report for the second quarter of the year, it saw a year-on-year increase in revenue of 13% as it collected $50.2 million. There was, however, a net loss of $21.6 million, an improvement of 26% over the $29.1 million loss reported a year earlier.

New CEO to Lead the Charge

Rodio is a long-time gaming industry veteran whose experience and talents are inarguably going to prove beneficial to GC. He has been in gaming for more than four decades and was most recently the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, a position he held as the company was merging with Eldorado Resorts. Rodio is also the former CEO of Affinity Gaming and the former president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment, having continued to rise in the ranks from the senior management positions he held at other gaming companies, including Hollywood Casino and Harrah’s Entertainment.

Apollo knows that Rodio is more than qualified to take over at GC and that he’ll be successful at ushering in a new era of profits at the company. Alex van Hoek, an Apollo partner and GC’s chairman of the board, asserts, “Tony is one of the industry’s most accomplished executives, and we are confident that his experience leading businesses through transformative periods of innovation and growth will help to take Great Canadian to new heights. We are excited to have him at the helm and to support Great Canadian as the Company continues to prioritize and enhance the experience of the guests, team members and communities they serve.”

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