Mesirow Financial Acquires Three Gateway Casinos in Vancouver Area in Excess of $382M

by Kristin Harlow

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Chicago-based Mesirow Financial has acquired three Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited properties in the Greater Vancouver Regional District for more than CA$500 million. Based on the exchange rate as of Friday, March 16, the purchase price equates to $382 million.

The properties include the Grand Villa Casino Burnaby, Starlight Casino New Westminster and Cascades Casino Langley.

Gateway was the seller under a sale-leaseback structure. Under the agreement, Mesirow Realty Sale-Leaseback Inc. (MRSL), the net lease real estate investment arm of Mesirow Financial, will become the landlord for the three properties. Gateway’s wholly owned subsidiaries have entered into long-term leases for each of the properties and will continue to operate the casinos.

Garry Cohen and Douglas Barker of Mesirow Financial’s Sale-Leaseback Capital group led the acquisition. Stephen Jacobson and Nathaniel Sager of Mesirow’s Credit Tenant Lease and Structured Debt group led the structuring of the acquisition financing. Chicago-based law firm Goldberg Kohn and Canada-based Boughton Law Corp. represented MRSL in the transaction. Four Corners Advisors and David Solano served as the buyer’s advisors.

Bennett Jones LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Gateway. Colliers International also advised Gateway on the transaction. The Catalyst Capital Group is Gateway’s private equity sponsor.

Mesirow Financial is an independent, employee-owned firm founded in 1937. The company specializes in investment, risk management and advisory services for its clients.

Gateway is the largest gaming company in Canada, operating 25 gaming properties encompassing 282 tables, 9,500 slots, 68 restaurants and 272 hotel rooms.

— Kristin Hiller

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