HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Houston hospitality and gaming magnate Tilman Fertitta has entered into a deal to take his Golden Nugget/ Landry’s empire public.
Fertitta Entertainment. the parent company of Golden Nugget/Landry’s, and FAST Acquisition Corp. a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC will merge, resulting in Fertitta Entertainment becoming a publicly listed company.
“I look forward to returning my company to the public marketplace. After taking the company private in 2010, we accomplished a lot. However, in today’s opportunistic world, I determined that in order to maximize the opportunities in the gaming, entertainment and hospitality sectors, it was preferable to take my company public,” Fertitta said.
The deal comes as major casino firms, including the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Caesars Entertainment, are making high-powered lobbying efforts in Austin to encourage the legalization of casino gambling in Texas.
Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, leads an entertainment organization which includes the five Golden Nugget casinos, 600 restaurants, and a number of hotels and entertainment venues, including the Kemah Boardwalk and the Pleasure Pier in Galveston.
The pandemic was a huge blow to the company and Fertitta laid off 45,000 employees about a year ago, when the hospitality firm was burning through $2 million in cash daily.
As chairman and CEO with a 60 percent ownership stake, Fertitta will lead the new organization resulting from the merger with the FAST SPAC, led by Doug Jacob and Sandy Beall.
“We first began to explore going public in 2019, as we saw tremendous M & A deals hitting the market. However, the pandemic set these efforts back. FAST provided us with the perfect merger vehicle to allow us to take control of an already existing public company. FAST’s capital along with the equity investment from institutional shareholders will strengthen our balance sheet and allow us to pursue our acquisition strategy,” Fertitta said.
Fertitta added, “After I compared the opportunities provided by a transaction with FAST, versus the traditional IPO route, it became abundantly clear that we could access the capital markets with more certainty and speed if we did a deal with FAST. Working with Doug and Sandy has been a pleasure, and I truly appreciate their time and contribution to this process. At the end of the day, the decision to do a deal with FAST was a no-brainer.”
The transaction implies an enterprise valuation for Golden Nugget/Landry’s of $6.6 billion.
“The hospitality industry is experiencing the greatest disruption of our lifetimes and Tilman and his team have remained the premiere gaming and restaurant operators in the country,” said Doug Jacob. “We believe this diverse portfolio made up of full-service dining and entertainment concepts combined with pent-up consumer demand, will find continued success as a public company.”
Restaurant operator Eugene Remm, Chief Brand Officer for FAST and a partner with Tilman in the renowned Catch Restaurant Group, will serve on the company’s board.
Fertitta owns Del Frisco’s Steakhouses, Willie G’s, McCormick & Schmick’s and casual dining brands including Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Cafe, Mitchell’s Fish Market Restaurants, and Saltgrass Steak House.
His Golden Nugget casinos are located in downtown Las Vegas; Lake Charles, La., Atlantic City, Biloxi and Laughlin, Nev.
Fertitta is chairman of the University of Houston Board of Regents and he attended UH’s Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Feb. 1, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021
File: Tilman Fertitta Going Public 2021
Caption: Fertiita’s Post Oak hotel and restaurant complex on Loop 610. Rendering: Gensler