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Dubuque’s Peninsula Gaming, owner of Northwood’s Diamond Jo Casino, acquired by Boyd Gaming

Dave DeWitte, CR Gazette –

The Dubuque-based casino company that owns Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque and Diamond Jo Worth in Northwood will be acquired by Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. in a deal announced Wednesday.

Boyd Gaming has agreed to pay $1.45 billion for Peninsula Gaming. The Las Vegas company will put about $200 million in cash into the deal and take on about $1.2 billion in debt. A $144 million note issued by Peninsula Gaming is also part of the financing.

Peninsula Gaming operates a total of five casinos, including the Kansas Star Casino near Wichita, Kans.; Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino in Opelousas, La., and Amelia Belle Casino in Amelia, La.

Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said Peninsula’s casinos operate resilient markets in the Midwest and south with limited access to gaming. He said the deal will immediately add to Boyd Gaming’s earnings and increase its free cash flow.

“We are paying an attractive multiple for high-quality, high-margin assets,” Smith said.

Boyd Gaming operates 16 gaming entertainment properties in six states, including the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria, Ill.

The sale, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of 2012.

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