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Talks Underway to Bring Fertitta Casino Empire Public

There are reports that Tilman Fertitta, the billionaire owner of the Houston Rockets, has begun talks to take his casino and restaurant empire public by merging with the blank-check firm Fast Acquisition Corp (NYSE: FST).

Fast Acquisition Corp is a special purpose acquisition company, and it has engaged in talks to raise more than $1 billion in new equity to support a transaction. If the deal goes through, it could value the combined entity at up to $7 billion, including debt.

The value of the two companies is estimated at 7 billion

Fertitta would still control the new company, and it would include casinos and restaurants under the Golden Nugget and Landry’s brands. It is thought that if the talks are successful, then a deal will be announced in the coming weeks, but there are no guarantees.

When the news broke, Fast Acquisition shares rose as much as 19%.

In December, Bloomberg News reported that Fertitta was interested in a potential initial public offering of part of the unit. In addition to the Golden Nuggets casinos, the company is also behind hundreds of restaurants under the Landry’s umbrella, such as Del Frisco’s steakhouse, Morton’s The Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Last month, Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: GNOG), an iGaming company led by Fertitta, merged with Landcadia Holdings II Inc., which is co-sponsored by Fertitta Entertainment Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE: JEF). In 2018, an earlier vehicle, Landcadia Holdings Inc., merged with the app-based restaurant platform Waitr Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: WTRH)

Fertitta’s restaurant business first went public back in 1993, and it operated that way until 2010 when he took it private in a $1.4 billion leveraged buyout. By that point, Fertitta was already expanding into casinos with the acquisition of the Golden Nugget brand.

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