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September 22, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

MGM completes transactions for Empire City Casino purchase

A day after receiving the go ahead from the New York State Gaming Commission, MGM Resorts International and MGM Growth Properties LLC announced this afternoon that they have completed the transactions for the acquisition of Empire City Casino in Yonkers.

Following MGM Resorts’ acquisition of Empire City for approximately $850 million, MGM Growth Properties acquired the developed real property from MGM Resorts for approximately $625 million and leased it back to a subsidiary of MGM Resorts that will operate the property, according to a statement by the companies.

“What’s incredibly exciting is the amount of opportunity MGM Resorts will bring to the employees at Empire City, as well as Westchester County, the city of Yonkers, and the state of New York,” said President and CEO of Empire City Casino Timothy J. Rooney, whose family has owned the track since 1972.
“What’s more, the potential for growth at Empire City has absolutely no boundaries. MGM will truly provide Empire City employees and the property’s guests with the resources and opportunities to make the casino and track into something we haven’t even yet realized. I cannot wait to see what’s to come.”

“We are pleased to welcome the 1,200 employees at Empire City Casino to the MGM Resorts family,” said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. “Over the past three years, we have established a meaningful presence in the northeast with Borgata in Atlantic City, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, and MGM Springfield in western Massachusetts.
With this new addition to the MGM Resorts portfolio, we have now gained a foothold in the high-density New York City region and we look forward to leveraging the MGM platform to maximize value in this evolving marketplace.”

MGM Resorts’ funded the acquisition of the 97-acre property with $360 million of cash on hand, the issuance of approximately 9.4 million shares of common stock and the assumption of approximately $246 million in indebtedness. MGM Resorts has also agreed to pay an additional $50 million if Empire City is awarded a license for live table games on or prior to Dec. 31, 2022 and MGM Resorts accepts such license by Dec. 31, 2024.

In addition, MGM Resorts has agreed to give MGM Growth Properties a right of first offer with respect to certain undeveloped land adjacent to the property to the extent MGM Resorts develops additional gaming offerings and chooses to sell or transfer the property in the future. Empire City Casino currently has 5,200 video-lottery terminals and no table games.