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|Penn National Gaming to Retain Empress Casino Joliet|
WYOMISSING, Penn. & JOLIET, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 20, 2008--Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) (the "Company") announced today that the Illinois Gaming Board ("IGB") has resolved to allow Penn National to retain the Empress Casino Joliet in Joliet, Illinois. The decision by the IGB came following presentations by members of Penn National's senior management team to the IGB on January 15, 2008 and February 19, 2008.
Penn National assumed ownership of the Empress Casino Joliet with its acquisition of Argosy Gaming Company, which was completed in October 2005. In connection with this acquisition, Penn National entered into an agreement with the IGB in which it agreed, in part, to enter into an agreement to divest the Empress Casino Joliet by December 31, 2006, which date was later extended to June 30, 2008, subject to Penn National having the right to request that the IGB review and reconsider the terms of the agreement. At yesterday's meeting, the IGB granted Penn National's request to retain the Empress Casino Joliet based, in part, on their determination that no undue economic concentration had occurred as a result of Penn National's ownership of the Empress Casino Joliet.
Peter M. Carlino, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National Gaming, commented, "We appreciate the consideration and cooperation of the members of the Illinois Gaming Board and are delighted that they have agreed to allow Penn National to retain the Empress Casino Joliet. This decision clears the way for Penn National to invest $50 million in the facility to improve its competitive position in the market. We are proud to be an employer and contributor in the Illinois market and with three properties in the State we look forward to being a long-term member of the Joliet, Alton and Aurora business communities."
About Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming owns and operates gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The Company presently operates nineteen facilities in fifteen jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario. In aggregate, Penn National's operated facilities feature over 25,000 slot machines, approximately 400 table games, over 1,730 hotel rooms and more than 900,000 square feet of gaming floor space.
On June 15, 2007, the Company announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by certain funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG: NYSE) and Centerbridge Partners, L.P. whereby Penn National Gaming shareholders will receive $67.00 in cash for each outstanding Penn National share. Penn National Gaming, Inc. is seeking to complete the transaction late in the second quarter of 2008. The timing of the closing is subject to obtaining certain regulatory approvals and satisfying other customary closing conditions.
About the Transaction
In connection with the proposed merger, Penn National Gaming has filed a definitive proxy statement and other documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND OTHER DOCUMENTS, BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the definitive proxy statement and other documents filed by Penn National Gaming, Inc. at the SEC's Web site at http://www.sec.gov.
The definitive proxy statement and other such documents may also be obtained for free by directing such request to Penn National Gaming, Inc. Investor Relations, 825 Berkshire Boulevard, Wyomissing, PA 19610 or on the company's website at www.pngaming.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may vary materially from expectations. Penn National Gaming describes certain of these risks and uncertainties in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006. Meaningful factors which could cause actual results to differ from expectations described in this press release include, but are not limited to, the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the agreement with Fortress and Centerbridge; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Penn National Gaming related to the proposed agreement; the inability to complete the transaction due to the failure to satisfy other conditions to completion of the merger, including the receipt of all regulatory approvals related to the merger; risks that the proposal transaction disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in key employee retention as a result of the transaction; the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy in general, and on the gaming and lodging industries in particular; construction factors, including delays, increased costs for labor and materials, Fortress and Centerbridge's access to available and reasonable financing on a timely basis; changes in laws, including increased tax rates, regulations or accounting standards, third-party relations and approvals, and decisions of courts, regulators and governmental bodies; litigation outcomes and judicial actions, including gaming legislative action, referenda and taxation. Furthermore, Penn National Gaming does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statements except as required by law. The cautionary advice in this paragraph is permitted by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
CONTACT: Penn National Gaming, Inc. William J. Clifford Chief Financial Officer 610-373-2400 or Jaffoni & Collins Incorporated Joseph N. Jaffoni, Richard Land 212-835-8500 or email@example.com SOURCE: Penn National Gaming, Inc.