Boyd Gaming Corp. of Las Vegas today made another offer to buy Station Casinos Inc. -- this one for $2.45 billion for the company with 18 casinos and hotel-casinos in Southern Nevada.
With Station carrying $6.8 billion in debt and other liabilities and operating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, acceptance of the $2.45 billion offer likely would cause creditors and investors to take billions of dollars in losses. [...]
Boyd, one of just a few gaming companies considered to be in sound financial shape and capable of buying Station without over-leveraging itself, has been persistent in pursuit of Station.
Boyd is on the prowl and ready for the kill!
"Combining Station with our current portfolio is consistent with our strategy of growing our presence in the Las Vegas locals market. The transaction contemplated by this proposal will allow us to leverage our 35 years of operating experience in the Las Vegas market to maximize the full potential of Station’s assets. Given this compelling strategic fit, and Boyd Gaming’s position as a licensed operator with strong financial capabilities, we continue to believe that the acquisition of the Station assets by Boyd Gaming is the optimal way forward for Station and will create the most value for Station’s creditors," Boyd said in a letter to Station.
"Importantly, Boyd Gaming is in the best position to execute a smooth transition of ownership and operate the Station properties efficiently from day one. We believe our proposal is in the best interests of Station’s employees, vendors, customers, and the Las Vegas community as it will help to strengthen the local economy and preserve thousands of jobs," the Boyd letter said. "We believe our offer price represents fair value to Station’s stakeholders and takes into account current market conditions, our deep knowledge of the gaming industry and Station’s publicly disclosed financial performance."
"Our proposal to acquire both the 'OpCo Assets’ and the 'PropCo Assets’ reflects the belief that there is more value in keeping these assets together rather than separating them. We believe that combining Station’s assets with Boyd Gaming will result in the greatest number of benefits for stakeholders," the letter [from Boyd Gaming] said.
Well, what else can I say? As I've said before, Station Casinos had it coming. So not only are the creditors furious, and not only is Culinary 226 ready for all out warfare against Station execs, but Boyd is now back in the game and ready to snatch them at a fire sale price in bankruptcy court.
Still, I must admit I'm conflicted about this possible Boyd acquisition of Station. On one hand, Station has been piling up reckless amounts of debt for years while continuing to treat their workers like crap. But on the other hand, I don't know if Boyd's really a better employer... And this deal will create a near-monopoly of Off-Strip casinos for Boyd. And as we've all seen with just two companies controlling so much of The Strip, it's dangerous to have so many casinos concentrated in so few hands.
So I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens next for Station. And if Boyd and/or some other "vultures" capture Station in bankruptcy court, the Fertittas only have themselves to blame for it.