| NEW YORK, June 30
NEW YORK, June 30 Isle of Capri Casinos Inc
is in advanced talks to sell itself to casino real
estate owner Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc, people
familiar with the situation said on Monday.
St. Louis Missouri-based Isle Of Capri renewed discussions
in recent months with Gaming and Leisure Properties, a real
estate investment trust (REIT), after a broader sale process
involving several potential buyers petered out earlier this
year, the people said.
Isle of Capri, advised by boutique investment bank Peter J
Solomon, is weeks away from a potential deal, the people said,
cautioning that the talks could still fall apart.
Isle of Capri has an enterprise value of $ 1.29 billion,
comprised of $969 million in debt and $325 million in equity
value. It owns and operates 15 gaming and entertainment
facilities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado,
Pennsylvania and Florida, according to the company's last
Spokespersons for Isle of Capri and Peter J. Solomon Company
declined to comment. Gaming and Leisure Properties did not
immediately respond to a request for comment. The people asked
not to be named because the talks were not public.
A transaction, if finalized, would require the REIT to
locate an operating partner for each of Isle of Capri Casino's
gaming operations. Because Gaming and Leisure Properties is a
REIT, for tax purposes it must receive a vast majority of its
revenue from tenant rent, not casino operations.
In addition to having to line up an operating partner, the
transaction would also require shareholder approval and gaming
license transfer approval in many jurisdictions, one of the
Gaming and Leisure Properties is a REIT created by the
spin-off of Penn National Gaming Inc's real estate
assets in 2013.
Since the spin-off, Gaming and Leisure Properties has been
aggressively looking to expand their real estate holdings by
approaching casinos, the people said.
So far this year, Isle's stock is down over 11 percent, Penn
National is down more than 16 percent.
(additional reporting by Soyoung Kim; editing by Andrew Hay)