The casino-operator buyout spree continued today as Penn National Gaming agreed to be acquired by two private-equity firms for $8.9 billion. The deal, which allows the company to solicit bids for 45 days, includes $2.8 billion in debt. News of the $67-a-share offer, a 31% premium over yesterday's closing price, drove the stock up to $62.12 at close.
Fortress Investment Group and Centerbridge Partners teamed to make Penn National the fourth casino operator to go private in the past year. The company, which failed in its attempt to take over Harrah's last year, also runs racetracks. Its widespread operations make a drawn-out regulatory approval process likely; the deal is expected to take 12 to 16 months to close.