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Aztar Says New Bid Is Superior

April 26, 2006|From the Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Casino operator Aztar Corp. on Tuesday called a buyout offer of $1.7 billion in cash from Ameristar Casinos Inc. superior to a bid from Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., and gave Pinnacle until Friday to respond.

Under an offer made Monday, Las Vegas-based Ameristar said it would pay $47 for each of Aztar's common shares outstanding, $2 more per share than Pinnacle agreed to pay in a revised offer it announced Monday.

Aztar is the owner of one of the last big redevelopment opportunities on the Las Vegas Strip -- the Tropicana resort on a 34-acre plot across from the MGM Grand, Excalibur and New York-New York hotel casinos.

If Aztar breaks its deal with Pinnacle, it would have to pay a termination fee of $49.6 million and termination expenses of up to $16 million.

A Pinnacle spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company had no comment.

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