LAS VEGAS-Publicly held Station Casinos Inc. is expected to betaken private early this week by Fertitta Colony Partners LLC, ajoint venture of the Fertitta family that started the company andLos Angeles-based Colony Capital, which owns the Las Vegas Hilton.The $8.9-billion transaction–the largest ever private-equity buyoutof a Nevada gaming company–calls for the JV to acquire $5.4 billionof stock and assume $3.4 billion in debt.

Station Casinos owns and operates a dozen casinos serving mostlylocals in the Las Vegas Valley, including the Red Rock CasinoResort and Spa. Under the terms of the buyout, holders of Stationcommon stock will receive $90 per share in cash for eachoutstanding share and the company's stock will immediately bedelisted from the New York Stock Exchange. On Friday shares tradedat about 25% of average volume and ended the day at $89.83.

Fertitta Colony Partners is controlled by Station Casinoschairman/chief executive Frank Fertitta III,vice-chairman/president Lorenzo Fertitta and Colony Capitalfounder/chairman/chief executive Tom Barrack. The Fertitta brotherswill continue handling the day-to-day operations of the company.The Fertittas, their sister Delise (Sartini) and her husband Blake,and Colony Capital have provided equity funding commitments for thestock purchase while affiliates of Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan ChaseBank have provided debt financing commitments.

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