LAS VEGAS-And the mergers continue. Locally based Station Casinos has entered into a buyout agreement with Fertitta Colony Partners valued at $8.8 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, FCP will take over all of Station’s outstanding common stock for $90 per share in the all-cash transaction. The deal, approved by the board of directors (advised by a special committee) over the weekend, includes the assumption of more than $3 billion in debt.

The deal is expected to close anywhere from six to nine months from now, depending on regulatory approvals and of course, the shareholders’ vote. It is also subject to other outside offers, which Station is allowed to entertain for the next 30 days.

“The special committee, with the assistance of its independent advisors, intends to solicit acquisition proposals during this period,” a company statement explains. “There can be no assurances that the solicitation of acquisition proposals will result in an alternative transaction. Station does not intend to disclose developments with respect to this solicitation process unless and until the special committee has made a decision with respect to the alternative proposals it receives, if any.”

In the statement, Station officials say that, “FCP has received financing commitments which are sufficient to consummate the acquisition. Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, Blake and Delise Sartini and Colony have provided equity funding commitments. Affiliates of Deutsche Bank as lead lender and JPMorgan Chase Bank have provided debt financing commitments.”

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw & Ferrario provided legal advice to the special committee. Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. served as financial advisor to the committee. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy LLP, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP are serving as the FCP’s legal advisors. Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. is serving as financial advisor to FCP.

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