10/05/2012 5:38PM

Churchill Downs Inc. buying second casino in Mississippi


Churchill Downs Inc. has reached an agreement to purchase a casino in Vicksburg, Miss., for $141 million, the company said late Friday. The casino, called Riverwalk Casino and Hotel, is the second that Churchill has purchased in Mississippi in the last three years, and it is the second property that Churchill has purchased that does not have a horse-racing component.

Churchill said it would pay in cash for the property using its existing credit line. The Riverwalk property includes a 25,000 square-foot casino with 723 slot machines and 18 table games, plus an 80-room hotel and a 5,600-square foot event facility.

In a release, Churchill said it expected the transaction to close by the end of the year, provided Churchill is approved for a second gambling license by regulators in the state.

In 2010, Churchill bought a casino in Greenville, Miss., that has a slightly larger gambling floor than the Riverwalk casino. Churchill spent $138 million to buy the property, which is called Harlow's Casino and Resort.

In the release, Churchill said that Riverwalk is expected to generate $55 million in revenue per year and $9.9 million in cash flow. The acquisition will provide Churchill with an additional 31 cents in earnings per share per year, Churchill said.

In 2011, Churchill had net earnings per share of $3.55 on revenue of $696.9 million. Revenue from its casino operations, which includes casinos at Fair Grounds in New Orleans and Calder Race Course in Miami, was $212.6 million.