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Gaming Guru

Tim O'Reiley

Judge eases way for vote on Pinnacle's Ameristar buy

17 April 2013

LAS VEGAS -- One legal challenge to the pending acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. was rejected Tuesday.

A shareholder class action lawsuit wanted the company to rewrite its proxy statement to reflect the financial implications if the company had decided to convert to a real estate investment trust. The final proxy statement was filed March 25 to announce the special shareholders meeting to vote on the deal April 25.

Ameristar advisers had reviewed the possibility of converting to a REIT, an option Penn National Gaming is considering, but the board of directors decided it would not yield good results.

Shareholder attorney Randall Baron said the details should still be laid out in the proxy statement so that shareholders can compare the options.

“I’m a little baffled why this is such a big deal,” he said.

It would have meant delaying the vote, company attorneys said.

“The option to convert to a REIT is not information that a reasonable shareholder would consider relevant” when deciding how to vote, Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez said in her ruling.