Wyomissing, PA is certainly not the most convenient place for a management meeting but it was well worth the $50 in gas to spend time with these value creators. For those of you who don’t know, Chairman and CEO Peter Carlino has generated more shareholder value per share in the last 10-15 years than any other management team in the gaming business. If I had any doubts about his desire to charge forward following the merger termination, they were quickly squashed. Now, armed with $1.4bn in new liquidity "wrestled away" from Fortress and Centerbridge, PENN can capitalize on an environment that appears ripe for some more value creation. Assets and gaming companies (including PENN) are cheap and there is literally no competition on the buy side. I’m not sure that sellers will be lining up to give away assets at fire sale prices. However, this is a patient management team that will not rush to spend its new found largesse just because it's burning a hole in its pocket. Creativity may be the key to “wrestle assets away” from unwilling sellers. There are a few companies that may soon have a gun to their heads to sell assets. You can be sure PENN will be there to “help” them out.
I’ll have more posts on this topic and a few other others regarding PENN coming soon to a portal near you.