08/08/2002 12:00AM

Penn buys casino chain

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Penn National Gaming, the owner of two racetracks and several casinos, will buy casino operator Hollywood Casino Inc. for $347 million, the companies announced Wednesday.

Hollywood Casino owns casinos in Illinois, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The deal will nearly double Penn National's revenues to $1 billion annually, a statement from the company said.

Penn National will pay $12.75 for each share of Hollywood Casino stock. The company will assume $569 in debt held by Hollywood Casino, and receive $136 million in cash, making the deal worth $780 million.

Penn National owns Penn National racetrack in Pennsylvania and Charles Town Races and Casino in West Virginia. The company, which began buying casino properties several years ago, also already owns casinos in Illinois and Mississippi.