Apollo Global Management announced it got shareholder approval for the pending acquisition of Great Canadian Gaming Corp, clearing one of the hurdles in the way of completion for the $1.9 billion transaction, executives said on a webcast.
Overwhelming Majority Vote
During a special shareholder meeting 79% of shareholder capital voted in favor of the deal which initially faced stiff opposition from Canadian’s major shareholders, CI Global Asset Management, BloombergSen and Burgundy Asset Management, with the latter even labeling Apollo’s starting bid of C$39 per share as opportunistic, despite the 35% premium compared to the market trading price by the time of the offer.
In November, Apollo entered into a definitive agreement with the Toronto-listed casino operator to acquire its outstanding common stock, paying C$39 per share, but it was not until Apollo raised the starting bid with 15% by offering C$45 the major shareholders agreed to support the deal.
The shareholder vote cleared the path for Apollo to acquire the 26 assets of Great Canadian, across gaming, entertainment and hospitality industries in Canada, with expectations to complete the transaction during the second quarter of 2021, pending regulatory approval.
Apollo Would Look to Develop the Business
The investment fund which failed short with its bid to acquire UK-based sports betting company William Hill, previously noted that after the acquisition is completed, Great Canadian would remain a Canadian business entity managed by Canadian executives and board members.
Further, Apollo openly stated its expectations its successful record and impeccable reputation as a responsible investor gained through owning businesses in highly regulated industries, including gaming, healthcare, chemicals and aerospace, would lure institutional investors to become equity co-owners.
The investment fund has extensive experience through the operations of Aliante, Gala Coral, Gamenet and PlayAGS, as well as previous involvement with the company which stood in its way towards William Hill, Caesars Entertainment, after a takeover for the then known Harrah’s took place in 2008.
Apollo’s plans regarding Great Canadian, which struggled this year after the suspension of operations across a number of its facilities due to the virus outbreak, include to drive growth by expanding the non-gaming facilities of the casino operator, by bolstering its loyalty and marketing programs, as well as improving its operations.
Great Canadian posted C$67.9 million in net losses for the two most recent quarters, yet the company continued to generate revenue throughout the whole period affected by the virus outbreak.