Affinity Gaming signals big changes ahead

Las Vegas-based casino operator Affinity Gaming LLC today signaled that big changes could be in store for the company, saying it's exploring alternatives ranging from casino sales to a companywide merger with another firm.

Today's announcement follows a move earlier in the week in which Affinity's largest shareholder, Illinois-based Z Capital Partners LLC, said it was looking to increase its stake in Affinity above 25 percent and potentially acquire a controlling stake in the future.

Z Capital also publicly criticized Affinity for an insider payment deal, signaling tension between Z Capital and Affinity Chairman Don Kornstein.

Affinity has not commented publicly on the Z Capital moves, but today the company announced its board's newly-created "Special Opportunities Committee" has retained Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. to act as its financial advisor "in connection with its evaluation of future opportunities.''

Opportunities for enhancing shareholder value that the committee is looking at include ''potential acquisitions, joint ventures, recapitalizations, select asset divestitures, merger, combination, reorganization or similar transactions'' or simply continuing to run the business as usual.

Affinity is the new name of the old Herbst Gaming LLC, which in 2010 acquired the assets of the bankrupt Herbst Gaming Inc. The company is best known for owning the complex of three casinos at Primm on Interstate 15 on the California border south of Las Vegas.

Elsewhere in Nevada, its casinos include the Terrible’s hotel-casino at Paradise and Flamingo roads in Las Vegas and its Terrible’s Town Casino and Bowling Center in Henderson. It also has casinos in Colorado, Iowa and Missouri.

Tags: Business, News


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