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Mesirow takes $400M gamble on casinos

Mesirow Financial has completed the sale-leaseback of three Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited properties in Vancouver.

Gateway is one of the largest and most diversified gaming and entertainment companies in Canada. The three acquired properties include the Grand Villa Casino Burnaby, Starlight Casino New Westminster and Cascades Casino Langley.

Under the agreement, Mesirow Realty Sale-Leaseback will now become the landlord for the three properties for a purchase price in excess of $388 million.

Gateway has entered into long term leases for each of the properties and will continue to operate the casinos under the leases, offering the same customer experience with no expected changes to employees or operations at these locations.

Led by Senior Managing Directors Garry Cohen and Douglas Barker, Mesirow Financial’s Sale-Leaseback Capital group arranged for the purchase of the three Gateway flagship properties.

The acquisition financing was structured in collaboration with Mesirow Financial’s Credit Tenant Lease (CTL) and Structured Debt group led by Senior Managing Directors Stephen Jacobson and Nathaniel Sager, as well as its Institutional Sales and Trading division.

MRSL was principally represented by its law firm, Goldberg Kohn of Chicago, as well as by its local British Columbia and Canadian counsel, Boughton Law Corporation. Four Corners Advisors and David Solano served as the buyer’s advisors. Bennett Jones LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Gateway. Colliers International, Capital Markets Group, also advised Gateway on the transaction.

Mesirow’s Garry Cohen, commented, “We are excited to have closed on Mesirow Realty Sale-Leaseback’s first cross-border transaction monetizing these three exceptional and strategic assets. We look forward to partnering with both Gateway and The Catalyst Capital Group, Gateway’s private equity sponsor.”

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