LAS VEGAS-The $5.4-billion privatization of Station Casinos moved a step closer to consummation late last week when state Gaming Control Board signed off on the public company’s acquisition by Fertitta Colony Partners, a joint-venture partnership of the gaming company’s founding family and Los Angeles-based Colony Capital, which also owns the Las Vegas Hilton.

The $90 per-share buy-out will be considered for final approval by the board’s parent, the Nevada Gaming Commission, on Oct. 18 in Carson City. Due to Station Casinos’ management of Thunder Valley Casino, an Indian resort in Sacramento, the transaction also requires the approval of the National Indian Gaming Commission, which has yet to set a date to consider the deal. Stockholders approved the plan in mid-August.

Fertitta Colony Partners is controlled by Station Casinos chairman/chief executive Frank Fertitta III, vice-chairman/president Lorenzo Fertitta and Colony Capital founder/chairman/chief executive Tom Barrack. All three principals are licensed to operate casinos in the state. The Fertitta brothers will continue handling the day-to-day operations of the company, which owns and operates a dozen casinos in the Las Vegas Valley, including the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa.

The Fertittas, their sister Delise (Sartini) and her husband Blake, and Colony Capital have provided equity funding commitments for the stock purchase while affiliates of Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase Bank have provided debt financing commitments. In addition to the debt associated with the stock purchase, the deal includes the assumption of approximately $3.4 billion of Station Casinos debt, taking the total deal value to $8.9 billion.

The Fertittas’ father started Station Casinos in 1976. It went public in 1993. When the privatization is completed, Colony Capital will own 75% of the Station Casinos while the Fertitta brothers, their sister and her husband will own the remainder. The go-forward strategy for the soon-to-be private company is to continue growing through expansions, ground-up development and third-party management contracts with American Indian casinos.

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