Eldorado Resorts, owner of 4 Missouri casinos, buys Lumière Place in St. Louis as Carl Icahn cashes out – STLtoday.com

Updated at 3:35 p.m. with closing prices.

Eldorado Resorts Inc., a major casino operator in Missouri and elsewhere, has agreed to buy Tropicana Entertainment Inc., the owner of Lumière Place in downtown St. Louis, in a deal valued at $1.85 billion in cash, the companies announced Monday.

GLPI, which leases real estate to casino operators, will pay $1.21 billion, excluding taxes and expenses, for substantially all of Tropicana’s real estate and enter into a master lease with an initial 15-year term with Reno, Nev.-based Eldorado.

Eldorado will fund the remaining $640 million of cash consideration payable in the deal, the company said.

Tropicana Entertainment is controlled by billionaire hedge fund manager Carl Icahn, whose firm first acquired an interest in 2008, when the Las Vegas company was in the throes of bankruptcy.

Icahn Enterprises typically buys undervalued assets, improves their operations, and ultimately sells them at a profit. It acquired Lumière Place casino and hotel complex from Pinnacle Entertainment in 2013 for $260 million. Pinnacle sold the property to satisfy Federal Trade Commission concerns about competition in the St. Louis market.

In addition to Lumière Place, Tropicana has casinos in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and Aruba. 

The deal comes just months after another major casino takeover affecting the St. Louis market.

That deal, which has not been completed yet, also called for the top-grossing casino here, Ameristar in St. Charles, to be sold to a third company, Boyd Gaming Corp.

The downtown St. Louis casino saw adjusted gross receipts of $13.1 million in December, up by more than 15 percent compared to December 2016. For the full calendar year, Lumière revenue was $148.5 million, an increase of 9.6

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