As reported by multiple Spanish media, 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.

Billionaire Manuel Lao Hernandez, Cirsa’s majority owner, disclosed last November that he had tapped financial advisory firm, Lazard to aid him in weighing several strategic options, including a potential initial public offering, the sale of a minority stake in the company or an outright transfer of ownership. Analysts have suggested that the company has a valuation that tops off around €2b.

None of the funds mentioned in the Spanish media reports deigned to comment on their potential interest in Cirsa. Unidentified gaming companies are also reportedly making tentative kicks at Cirsa’s tires. Lazard is requiring all interested parties to submit non-binding bids in the coming weeks.

While rumours circulated last November that Cirsa was contemplating a tie-up with its Spanish rival Codere, Codere’s new management dismissed the rumours, by affirming that they were more focused on righting Codere’s floundering ship. Not for nothing, but a Blackstone subsidiary was one of the private equity groups that bailed out Codere a few years ago.

Cirsa generates an annual revenue of roughly €1.6b and earnings of over €400m. The company’s most recent quarterly results showed record earnings of €108m in the three months ending, September 30.

In addition to its Spanish casino and bingo business, Cirsa is involved with UK bookmakers Ladbrokes on the Sportium sports betting joint venture. Cirsa also has land-based and online operations in multiple Latin American markets, including Mexico, Panama and (soon) Colombia.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events