Posted on: January 14, 2022, 10:42h.
Last updated on: January 14, 2022, 10:42h.
Century Casinos (NASDAQ:CNTY) is selling the property on which Century Casino Calgary is located for $6.5 million. The building is also included in the transaction with Rowanwood Financial Properties.
Rowanwood Financial already paid $560,000 and the remainder is due upon closing, which is expected to occur in 30 days.
Colorado-based Century sold the operating rights of the venue in August 2020 for $7.5 million, but maintained ownership of the real estate assets and the sports bar, bowling, and entertainment amenities.
Century Resorts Alberta continues to operate Century Sports, a sports bar, bowling and entertainment facility located on a portion of the property. Upon closing, CRA will stop operating Century Sports and will transfer the lease agreement for the casino premises to the Buyer,” according to a statement.
At the time of the sale of the operating rights, Century noted the Calgary casino contributed just $1.2 million to the operator’s overall earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) tally.
Small Transaction, Potentially Big Implications
Between the operating rights and real estate sales, Century is grossing $14 million from the Calgary casino. On the surface, that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not small change relative to the operator’s $344.59 market capitalization.
However, the proceeds add to what’s one of the strongest balance sheets among small-cap gaming names and could be used to acquire neglected casinos from other operators this year. Owing to Century’s track record of scooping up unloved assets from larger competitors and wringing value from those venues, analysts widely expect the operator to be a buyer at some point this year.
“We believe this transaction (Calgary) further simplifies CNTY’s story, and affirms management’s commitment to selling non-core assets,” said Roth Capital analyst Edward Engel in a note to clients. “We also believe this highlights value within CNTY’s Canada segments, and adds credibility to management’s commitment to selling Poland assets.”
Following the Calgary sale, Century has four gaming venues in Canada. Engel believes it’s possible that, over time, the operator will divest those holdings in an effort to sharpen its focus on the more lucrative US market. He rates the stock a “buy” with an $18 price target.
Keep an Eye on Poland
Century probably isn’t done selling assets located outside the US. The company is looking to sell its two-thirds stake in Casinos Poland and multiple unidentified parties are believe to be interested.
“On a normalized basis, we believe these casinos contribute ~10 percent of CNTY’s EBITDA. Management has already indicated interested buyers, although the pandemic has stalled a sale,” adds Engel. “After results rebounded in 3Q21 (EBITDA +22 percent vs 3Q19), we believe continued strength in 4Q21 and 1Q22 will help attract a firm offer in 2022. We expect CNTY’s Poland sale to generate over $40M in cash proceeds, while significantly simplifying CNTY’s investment story.”
A timeline for a deal in Poland isn’t known at this time.