Columbia completes Aztar acquisition for USD 2.1 billion

Wimar Tahoe, known as Columbia Entertainment, completed yesterday its acquisition of all of the outstanding common shares of Aztar Corp. or USD 54.39 per share and all outstanding preferred shares of Aztar for USD 575.3546 per share, for a total of approximately USD 2.1 billion.

The per share amounts include USD 0.00888 per common share per day and USD 0.09388 per preferred share per day that Columbia agreed to pay Aztar shareholders beginning last November 20th through yesterday’s closing date.

Under the terms of the agreement, WT-Columbia Development, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Entertainment, merged with and into Aztar, with Aztar surviving the merger and becoming an indirect subsidiary of Columbia Entertainment. The acquisition has been approved by gaming authorities in Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana; and the financing transactions to facilitate the acquisitions have been approved by Louisiana and Mississippi.

Columbia President and CEO William J. Yung said that he expects a smooth transition. „The Tropicana properties have tremendous brand equity.“ he said. „Over the next several months and years, we fully expect to leverage that equity for our customers, communities and employees.“

Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Libra Securities provided investment banking advisory services for the transaction and Credit Suisse acted as the administrative agent, lead arranger and lead book-running manager for the approximately us$ 3.1 billion of senior secured credit facilities and senior subordinated notes used to finance the acquisition of Aztar and to retire existing indebtedness.

Legal and advisory services to Columbia Entertainment were provided by Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild and by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. Credit Suisse was represented by Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Columbia Entertainment is a privately held owner and operator of casino gaming properties. With the Aztar purchase, Columbia’s portfolio of gaming properties owned or operated now includes 13 casinos in the United States, including Tropicana branded properties in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.