Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Boyd Still ‘Actively Pursuing’ Station Casinos - 2nd March 2010

Boyd Gaming Corp. said Tuesday it’s still interested in buying the assets of Las Vegas rival Station Casinos Inc. out of bankruptcy protection.

In a conference call Tuesday, Boyd Chief Executive Keith Smith said the company stood by its $2.45 billion bid for Station’s assets.

“This offer stands and we are still actively pursuing these assets,” Smith said of his company’s December offer for Station’s assets.

Station Casinos said last week it had struck a tentative deal with a key group of mortgage lenders to restructure its casino business while allowing the founding Fertitta family to continue running the Las Vegas company.

Smith acknowledged that Station “asserted” it “may” have a deal with some lenders but pointed out that it only involved four of Station’s 18 properties. That would leave “a considerable number of assets in play,” he said, adding “we’ll continue to work diligently” to complete a deal “when permitted.”

Station, which filed for bankruptcy protection in July is operating under the Bankruptcy Code’s “exclusive period,” which bars creditors from interfering in a company’s restructuring efforts.

Smith said “Station’s assets would be a great fit” for Boyd’s business as well as the company’s growth strategy for the market catering to local residents.

A Station Casinos spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Boyd has been pursing Station for more than a year. The December bid followed an earlier $950 million offer for some of Station’s gaming assets, an offer the company rejected before opting to reorganize under bankruptcy protection. Station Casinos’ lawyers have accused Boyd of trying to turn its Chapter 11 reorganization into a “shopping spree.”