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Pinnacle sells Argentina casinos for $40 million

30 April 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Pinnacle Entertainment sold its two Argentina-based casinos for $40 million to a company in the South American country on the same day the regional casino operator said it was issuing $250 million of new notes to pay down debt.

In Thursday filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Las Vegas-based Pinnacle said the deal to sell its two casinos was subject to regulatory approvals.

Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Joel Simkins told investors the deal was in line with the new Chief Executive Officer Anthony Sanfilippo's recent comments about focusing the company's efforts on its regional casinos in Louisiana, St. Louis and Indiana.

"We are not surprised to see new management shed these assets as (the company) continues to focus on minimizing distractions as it works to improve (cash flow) margins at its primary properties," Simkins said.

In March, Pinnacle opened a $380 million suburban St. Louis casino but canceled plans for a second hotel-casino in Lake Charles, La. It's proceeding on building a hotel-casino in Baton Rouge, which was one of the reasons given for the $250 million debt issuance.

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