Boyd Gaming, Coast Casinos merge

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LAS VEGAS -- Coast Casinos entered into a definitive merger agreement with Boyd Gaming Corp., worth $1.3 billion, under which Coast will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boyd Gaming and will operate as a separate unit run by current Coast management.

Under terms of the deal, Boyd will pay Coast shareholders $495 million in cash and 19.4 million shares, or about $325 million, as well as assuming $460 million worth of Coast Casinos' debt.

The merger will create a casino company with 17 casino entertainment facilities nationwide -- Boyd Gaming operates the Borgata, a joint venture property in Atlantic City that it owns with MGM-Mirage -- as well as two in the works.

Boyd is in the process of acquiring Harrah's Shreveport, La., while Coast is expected to begin construction on South Coast Hotel and Casino, its fifth property, just south of Las Vegas, in the second quarter of this year.

Coast Casinos' other Las Vegas properties are the Barbary Coast, located on the Strip, as well as the Gold Coast, the Suncoast, and the Orleans.

Boyd Gaming's presence in Las Vegas includes the Stardust, located on the Strip, and Sam's Town, a long-time locals landmark.

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