(Bloomberg)—A group of lenders to Bally’s Corp. have hired law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher to represent their interests after the gaming company asked them to consent to a $1 billion sale-leaseback of two Rhode Island casinos, according to people familiar with the matter.
The lenders, led by Fidelity, hold a majority of Bally’s $1.9 billion senior secured term loan due in 2028, which puts them in a position to block the company from a needed credit amendment, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing the private matter.
That consent, for which Bally’s has offered the lenders a 50 basis-point fee, is necessary before Bally’s can sell one of the two Rhode Island casinos, one of the people said.
Representatives for Willkie Farr, Fidelity and Bally’s declined to comment.
Providence, Rhode Island-based Bally’s, which struck a 10-year agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group in 2020 for naming rights of its regional sports networks, has been on an acquisition spree in recent years.
The company now owns and manages casinos in states from Nevada to New Jersey as well as a horse racetrack, online gaming platforms and fantasy sports site Monkey Knife Fight. Bally’s $1.7 billion proposal to build Chicago’s first casino was approved last month.
The proposed sale-leaseback in Rhode Island would include Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort and Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel. Lender consent is only needed for the Lincoln casino, one of the people said, and the company could consider selling other properties.
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