Golden Nugget Ends Deal To Become Publicly Traded Company

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on December 16, 2021

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta has decided not to take his company, Fertitta Entertainment, public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The company announced it has decided to end its pending $8.6 billion merger with Fast Acquisition Corp. (FAST) and pay a settlement of $33 million.

Fertitta Entertainment is a holding company for Golden Nugget Casinos and Landry’s restaurants.

Keeping the company private

The merger was initially announced on Feb. 1, 2021, with Fertitta citing opportunities in the post-pandemic hospitality and online gaming sector.

However, the new Omicron Covid-19 variant has shrunk optimism that sectors, like the gaming industry, were rebounding.

In regards to the ending of the merger, Tilman Fertitta had this to say:

“I have a lot of respect for the FAST team and will support them however I can as they continue to search for a merger target. At the end of the day we ultimately determined that the right decision for my company was to remain private at this time, and I look forward to continuing to grow our business both organically and in-organically.”

The deal included five Golden Nugget casinos, the Landry’s restaurant portfolio, and nearly half of the shares in the online casino platform Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. ($GNOG), which Fertitta owns 47 percent. 

$GNOG shares were trading at $10.43 as of writing.

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Future outlook

The $33 million settlement for FAST and its shareholders will be paid through upfront and deferred payments. The money will be used to cover expenses and legal fees.

$FAST shares were trading at $10.17 on Dec. 15.

Doug Jacob, Founder of FAST, stated: “FEI is an incredible hospitality empire run by the one of the world’s best operators that we have had a first-hand view into for many years now. We wish Tilman and his team the best of luck as they remain a private company. Through this settlement we ensured that we are sufficiently capitalized to seek a new target and that we could continue our efforts to maximize value for our shareholders.”

Photo by Michael Wyke / Associated Press
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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