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Merger between with MTR Gaming and Eldorado Resorts

American horseracing and casino operator MTR Gaming Group has agreed to merge with casino operator Eldorado Resorts.

The all-stock deal values MTR, which owns and operates casinos and racetracks in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, at about $147 million (€111 million) and is expected to be finalised in the middle of next year.

Under the deal, MTR's shareholders will be granted a cash-election option of $5.15 per share for up to 5.8 million shares, while MTR's remaining shares would be exchanged for stock in the new company.

The owners of Eldorado, which operates casinos in Louisiana and Nevada, would end up with 35.6 million shares, about 55% of the total number of shares in the combined company.

Gary Carano, the head of Eldorado's Silver Legacy joint venture with MGM Resorts International, will be the chief executive officer of the new company.

Alongside Silver Legacy, Eldorado operates the Eldorado Reno and Eldorado Shreveport venues, while MTR owns the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack, Presque Isle Downs and Scioto Downs properties.

The combined company will operate six venues and have a total of 9,968 slot machines and video lottery terminals, 283 table games and 3,282 hotel rooms.

In other news, MTR has appointed Joseph Billhimer as its new permanent president and chief operating officer.

Billhimer joined MTR in April 2011 from Foundation Gaming Group, an advisory and management services firm for the gaming industry.

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