SOURCE: Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

April 14, 2011 13:21 ET

Ameristar Casinos Completes $2.2 Billion Financing to Repay Existing Debt and Fund Stock Repurchase From the Estate of Craig H. Neilsen

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - Apr 14, 2011) - Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCA) today announced that it has obtained $2.2 billion of new debt financing that has been or will be used (i) to repurchase its outstanding 9¼% Senior Notes due 2014 tendered pursuant to the tender offer announced on March 29, 2011, including payment of the tender premium and accrued interest, (ii) to prepay and permanently retire all of the indebtedness under Ameristar's existing senior secured credit facilities, (iii) to repurchase 26,150,000 shares of Ameristar common stock from the Estate of Craig H. Neilsen as previously announced, (iv) to pay related fees and expenses and (v) for Ameristar's general corporate and working capital purposes. Ameristar expects to close the stock repurchase transaction on April 19, 2011. Approximately 99.9% of the $650 million aggregate principal amount of 9¼% Senior Notes due 2014 were tendered and repurchased pursuant to an early settlement date under the tender offer, and the tender offer will remain open until April 25, 2011.

"We are extremely pleased with this refinancing, which should allow Ameristar to quickly complete the stock repurchase from the Neilsen Estate," said Thomas Steinbauer, Ameristar's Chief Financial Officer. "Excluding certain one-time costs, we expect the repurchase to be immediately accretive to Ameristar's earnings per share. The refinancing also reduces the weighted-average interest rate on the Company's outstanding debt from approximately 6.7% to approximately 5.4% based on current LIBOR rates and provides flexibility in the near term to retire significant amounts of debt, while preserving Ameristar's ability to take advantage of appropriate growth opportunities that may arise in the future."

The new financing consists of $800 million principal amount of unsecured 7.50% Senior Notes due 2021 and $1.4 billion of new senior secured credit facilities. The new senior secured credit facilities include (i) a $200 million A term loan that was fully borrowed at closing and matures in 2016, (ii) a $700 million B term loan that was fully borrowed at closing and matures in 2018 and (iii) a $500 million revolving credit facility, $368 million of which was borrowed at closing and which matures in 2016. Upon the satisfaction of certain conditions, Ameristar will have the option to increase the total amount available under the credit facilities by up to the greater of an additional $200 million or an amount determined by reference to Ameristar's total net leverage ratio.

The A term loan and the revolving loan facility currently bear interest at the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 275 basis points or the base rate plus 175 basis points, at Ameristar's option. The B term loan bears interest at LIBOR (subject to a LIBOR floor of 1%) plus 300 basis points or the base rate (subject to a base rate floor of 2%) plus 200 basis points, at Ameristar's option. The LIBOR margin for the A term loan and the revolving loan facility is subject to reduction based on Ameristar's total net leverage ratio. The commitment fee on the revolving loan facility is 50 basis points, subject to reduction based on the total net leverage ratio.

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc. acted as joint book-running managers for the notes offering. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. acted as joint lead arrangers and joint book-runners for the credit facilities. Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas is acting as administrative agent for a group of commercial banks and other institutional lenders under the credit facilities.

The notes have not initially been registered under the Securities Act of 1933 or any state securities law and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration under the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell any security and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer or sale would be unlawful.

Forward-Looking Information
This release contains certain forward-looking information that generally can be identified by the context of the statement or the use of forward-looking terminology, such as "believes," "estimates," "anticipates," "intends," "expects," "plans," "is confident that," "should" or words of similar meaning, with reference to Ameristar or our management. Similarly, statements that describe our future plans, objectives, strategies, financial results or position, operational expectations or goals are forward-looking statements. It is possible that our expectations may not be met due to various factors, many of which are beyond our control, and we therefore cannot give any assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. For a discussion of relevant factors, risks and uncertainties that could materially affect our future results, attention is directed to "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010.

About Ameristar
Ameristar Casinos, Inc. is a leading Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company known for its premier properties characterized by state-of-the-art casino floors and superior dining, lodging and entertainment offerings. Ameristar's focus on the highest quality gaming experience and exceptional guest service has earned it leading positions in the markets in which it operates. Founded in 1954 in Jackpot, Nev., Ameristar has been a public company since November 1993. The Company has a portfolio of eight casinos in seven markets: Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago (Chicagoland area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City; Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs (Omaha, Neb., and southwestern Iowa); Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg (Jackson, Miss., and Monroe, La.); Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk (Denver metropolitan area); and Cactus Petes Resort Casino and The Horseshu Hotel and Casino in Jackpot, Nev. (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest).

Visit Ameristar Casinos' website at (which shall not be deemed to be incorporated in or a part of this news release).

Contact Information

    Tom Steinbauer
    Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
    Ameristar Casinos, Inc.