“Business as usual” after $ 1.8 billion deal involving Westmoreland casino

After more than a year of operation, the Live! The ownership of the Pittsburgh Casino at Westmoreland Mall is changing hands.

In a $ 1.8 billion deal, the Wyomissing-based gaming and recreation properties in Berks County will acquire three properties from Baltimore-based The Cordish Cos., Including Live! Maryland Casino and Hotel, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and Live! Pittsburgh Casino. The properties will be re-let by Cordish, which will continue to own gaming operations.

“We are delighted to establish a relationship with The Cordish Cos., One of the country’s leading developers of large-scale experiential real estate, casinos, hospitality and entertainment areas,” said Peter Carlino, President -General Director of Gaming Leisure Properties. “We have long admired Cordish for his creation of the very successful Live! Mark.”

The Cordish Cos. first moved to western Pennsylvania last November with the opening of Live! Casino at Westmoreland Shopping Center in Hempfield. The $ 150 million casino opened in the former Bon-Ton store offering 30 table games, 150 slot machines, and dining and entertainment facilities.

Casino officials posed questions to The Cordish Cos., Who provided a written statement from President David Cordish.

“We will continue to own and operate all three of our Live! Casinos, unchanged, ”Cordish said. “It’s really business as usual for Live! Casinos, its team members and customers, with a new partner that allows us to grow even more and more quickly. As a multigenerational, family-owned and operated company, GLPI is an ideal partner to continue this tradition.

Tenants from Gaming and Leisure Properties, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, include the Hollywood Casino in Meadows, Washington County, and the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County.

Funding for the three properties will include a qualifying debt assumption, which will be satisfied by Gaming and Leisure Properties, cash and a $ 323 million equity offering to align the two groups for future collaborations and partnerships. The transaction will create a binding partnership on future Cordish Casino developments and funding partnerships.

“A crucial aspect of our transaction was Cordish’s continued commitment to operate with the same team, the same approach and the same level of excellence that have made their casinos so successful,” said Carlino. “These new leases should have strong rental coverage at an accretive capitalization rate while further expanding and diversifying our portfolio.”

The Maryland transaction is expected to close at the end of the year. Transactions in Pennsylvania could be closed in early 2022.

The initial leases will have a term of 39 years, with a maximum term of 60 years, including renewal options.

“We look forward to continuing to deliver quality entertainment experiences in the markets we currently serve, and to collaborate and partner with GLPI on opportunities to grow Live! brand in the future, ”Cordish said.

Megan Tomasic is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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