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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Vegas firm shows interest in Station Casino properties

4 May 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- On the eve of what could be pivotal hearings in the Station Casinos bankruptcy case, a Las Vegas firm has entered the fray, expressing an interest in acquiring some of the company's small properties.

Las Vegas-based Silver State Capital Advisors said in statement late Monday night it was interested in acquiring and managing Barley's Casino & Brewing Company, Gold Rush Casino, Lake Mead Casino, The Greens Gaming & Dining, Wildfire Casino-Boulder, Wildfire Casino-Lanes and Wildfire Casino-Rancho.

Silver State said is working with its private equity partners to finance this acquisition.

Silver State currently manages Club Fortune Casino in Henderson. The company's managing director, Jay Fennel, is a former Station Casinos executive.

Station Casinos is asking the court today in Reno to set procedures to sell 13 casinos, some land holdings and American Indian gaming contracts as one entity. The gaming company believes the package would fetch a larger price than selling the assets in part or individually. The company is seeking to establish a 45-day qualification period for potential buyers. If approved, Station Casinos hopes to complete its sale before hearings in mid-July and emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year.

The court is also to hear arguments to further extend the exclusivity period by 60 days where Station Casinos alone can propose a reorganization plan.

If approved, competing proposals from creditors and other parties would not be considered by the court. The exclusivity period would run from mid-May to mid-July and coincide with the proposed sale process.

Station Casinos' founding family is seeking to establish a $772 million stalking-horse or preliminary bid for many of the company's assets through newly formed Fertitta Gaming.

The bid would be in partnership with Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm Colony Capital and lead banks in the bankruptcy, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Chase.

The lone objection to the plan is by the official committee of unsecured creditors.