Ameristar (ASCA) / Pinnacle (PNK) Deal Could Flush Out Competitive Bids

December 21, 2012 10:48 AM EST
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This morning Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE: PNK) announced the acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASCA) for $2.8 billion. While the deal is "definitive", a few on Wall Street are wondering if other potential suitors will come forward.

Commenting on developments, analyst David Bain of Sterne Agee said he thinks MGM (NYSE: MGM) would also be an interesting suitor for Ameristar Casinos, and said "it will be interesting to uncover if there is a significant break-up fee or poison pill that was introduced into the PNK / ASCA acquisition transaction documents."

An ASCA acquisition would "add more depth to its regional portfolio (away from being highly Strip-centric). However, we note that we are unsure if MGM considers a significant regional portfolio acquisition an interesting fit, at this point, however - especially given its current growth prospects in Maryland, MA and Macau," said Bain.

Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) could also be on the lookout for assets, noted Bain, though it is unclear if PENN would enter into such a transaction before its REIT structure is finalized.

Sterne Agee has a Neutral rating on Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ: ASCA).

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on Ameristar Casinos click here. For more ratings news on Ameristar Casinos click here.

Shares of Ameristar Casinos closed at $22.07 yesterday.

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