Boyd Gaming Corp. recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, L.P., to acquire Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Penn., for total cash consideration of $280.5 million. Located 20 miles west of downtown Philadelphia, Valley Forge will be Boyd Gaming's first asset in Pennsylvania, the second-largest commercial gaming state in the nation.
The purchase price represents an implied multiple of seven times EBITDA, including expected cost synergies and incremental growth from the property's impending slot floor expansion, and before any operational improvements. The company expects the acquisition to be free cash flow positive and immediately accretive to earnings.
"The acquisition of Valley Forge Casino Resort is another excellent opportunity to further grow and diversify our nationwide portfolio," said Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming. "With this acquisition, we will expand into the second-largest gaming state in the country, establishing a presence in a densely populated, high-traffic area just west of Philadelphia. And thanks to Pennsylvania's recent passage of gaming expansion legislation, there are new opportunities to drive incremental growth at Valley Forge through the expansion of the property's slot capacity and the introduction of new forms of gaming."
Valley Forge features a 40,000-square foot casino with 600 slot machines, 50 table games, and nearly 500 hotel rooms. The property also has eight restaurants and bars, and more than 100,000 square feet of meeting, convention and exhibit space. The property is located just two miles north of King of Prussia Mall, the largest mall in the U.S.
Following the passage of gaming expansion legislation in November, Valley Forge eliminated its customer admission fee, and plans to expand its gaming capacity with the addition of 250 slot machines in early 2018, both of which are expected to drive increased customer traffic. Additionally, the legislation allows the property to offer online gaming within the state of Pennsylvania, as well as sports betting if permitted under federal law in the future.
"With the successful completion of our acquisitions of Valley Forge and the Pinnacle assets, Boyd Gaming will gain direct access to four of the nation's largest gaming markets – Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Cincinnati – with a combined population of nearly 10 million adults," said Smith. "We will expand our nationwide presence, operating 29 properties across 10 states. We believe this expansion will help drive additional growth throughout our nationwide portfolio, as we market our destination properties to these new customers in the Midwest and Northeast."
The Valley Forge transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals. The transaction will be financed with incremental debt financing. As a result of the company's substantial free cash flow, Boyd Gaming expects to continue its program of returning capital to shareholders through quarterly dividend payments and share repurchases.
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