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Penn National paying $2.8B for casino competitor

Penn National Gaming Inc., the owner of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in East Hanover Township, has agreed to pay $2.8 billion to buy competitor Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., the companies announced today.

Las Vegas-based Pinnacle owns 16 gaming and entertainment facilities. The combined company will give Penn National 41 properties with about 53,500 slot machines, 1,300 table games and 8,300 hotel rooms, as well as more than 35,000 employees.

“By combining our highly complementary portfolios and similar operating philosophies, we will be able to leverage the strengths of both our companies and create an unparalleled experience for our regional gaming customers, while generating significant value for our shareholders and business partners,” Penn National CEO Timothy Wilmott said.

Under the terms of the deal, Pinnacle shareholders will receive $20 in cash and 0.42 shares of Penn National stock, compensation worth $32.47 per Pinnacle share.

Also as part of the merger, Boyd Gaming Corp. has struck a $575 million deal with Penn National to acquire four Pinnacle properties in Missouri, Ohio and Indiana. Officials expect the divestitures will occur immediately prior to, and are conditioned upon, the completion of the Pinnacle acquisition.

The Pinnacle deal has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

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