Cirsa bought by US Investor Blackstone

As reported earlier this year by multiple Spanish media outlets, Cirsa Gaming Corp, one of the world leaders in gaming and leisure activities and the Spain’s largest casino and bingo hall operator casted a spell over several US hedge fund giants, like the Advent International, Apollo Global Management, Blackstone Group and Cerberus Capital Management who were all found to be swirling around Cirsa, competing for its fair hand.

It seems that it took only 2 months for bidders to start withdrawing and one hedge fund giant to remain on top. Analysts have suggested that the company has a valuation that tops off around €2b and this is the sum (Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed) the Barcelona-based Cirsa is going to fetch.

The representatives of Cirsa and Blackstone have issued a joint statement last, in which they’ve stated that they have reached agreement. It’s a deal under which Blackstone will acquire Cirsa’s casino, bingo and sports betting operations in Spain, Italy and Latin America. The exception of the takeover is the Argentinean business, which will continue to exist as a separate entity and under the rule of Cirsa founder Manuel Lao Hernandez.

Cirsa’s current empire includes 147 casinos, 178 salons, 70 bingo halls, over 2k sports betting points of sale and over 75k gaming machines. Cirsa is also a joint venture partner with UK bookmaker Ladbrokes in the Sportium sports betting operation. The company’s 2017 revenue exceeded €1.7b and extended Cirsa’s streak of consecutive quarterly earnings growth to 47. (Source: CalvinAyre.com)

Hernandez has thanked all the Cirsa employees that have worked for the company over the last four decades, while saying the new Cirsa would benefit from Blackstone’s “enthusiasm and ambition.”

Blackstone’s European private equity director Lionel Assant said the fund was “happy to make this investment” and claimed to be “excited to support Joaquim Agut, the new chairman of the company, and his strategy in this new stage as well as the expansion of CIRSA both organically and through acquisitions and in new geographical areas.”

In 2017, Blackstone (“Blackstone”) announced the acquisition of Clarion Events, one of the world’s leading independent events organisers, from private equity funds managed by Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”).