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Penn National Gaming to Acquire Pinnacle Entertainment for $2.8 Billion

Penn National Gaming announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire Pinnacle Entertainment for $ 2.8 billion in combined cash and stock. Pinnacle shareholders will receive $ 20 per share of Pinnacle plus 0.42 shares of Penn National stock for each Pinnacle share they own. The implied price per share is $ 32.47, a 36 premium for Pinnacle based on the company’s closing price on October 4th. Penn National CEO Timothy Wilmott did some of the usual corporate cheerleading-speak in a press release: The combined company will benefit from enhanced scale, additional growth opportunities and best-in-class operations, creating a more efficient integrated gaming company. Going forward, we will have the financial and operational flexibility to further execute on our strategic objectives, while maintaining our track record of industry-leading profit margins and generating significant cash flow to reduce leverage over time. We look forward to welcoming Pinnacle’s talented employees to our

William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair Competing to Acquire CrownBet

Gambling industry consolidation talks have started up again, this time with Australian bookmaker CrownBet as the acquisition target by both William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair. CrownBet is 62 percent owned by Crown Resorts – Crown Melbourne is the host venue of the popular Aussie Millions poker series – which is itself part of James Packer’s gambling empire. The news of William Hill’s interest in CrownBet broke late last week and a William Hill spokesperson confirmed to financial media that there were “very preliminary discussions” going on between the two companies. That spokesperson, though, cautioned against anyone getting too excited over a possible deal, saying, “This industry is undergoing consolidation and people in the sector talk to each other all the time. Don’t look too much into this as a firing gun.” William Hill got into the Australian sports betting market several years ago, when it bought Sportingbet and TomWaterhouse.com.