Great Canadian Gaming gets shareholder nod for $1.96 bln buyout deal

Dec 23 (Reuters) - Great Canadian Gaming Corp said on Wednesday its shareholders had voted in favor of a sweetened deal that would see Apollo Global Management Inc buy the Canadian casino operator for C$2.52 billion ($1.96 billion).

About 79% of Great Canadian Gaming shareholders approved the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Apollo Global earlier this week agreed to increase its offer price to C$45 per share in cash from the previous offer of C$39 per share, which helped in gaining the support of shareholders who initially opposed the deal, including CI Global Asset Management.

CI Global Portfolio Manager Stephen Groff said in a statement on Wednesday the asset manager considered various scenarios of the cash-flow generating capability of the business in a “more normal environment” and were pleased with the outcome.

Great Canadian Gaming also said the deal would need regulatory approval.

Casino operators have been heavily affected due to temporary facility closures and capacity restrictions, causing their shares to take a nosedive this year.

Shares of Toronto-based Great Canadian Gaming, however, have gained 52% since Apollo’s initial offer on Nov. 10.

$1 = 1.2854 Canadian dollars Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru and Maiya Keidan in Toronto; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri