Clairvest Closes Investment In Chicago Area Casino
Toronto, Ontario (April 9, 2010) – Clairvest Group Inc. (TSX:CVG) (“Clairvest”) and Clairvest Equity Partners IV Limited Partnership (“CEP IV”) announced today the closing of a US$72 million investment in Midwest Gaming Holdings LLC (“Midwest Gaming”) to build a casino and related gaming and entertainment facilities in Des Plaines, Illinois (“Des Plaines Casino”). Midwest Gaming is a partnership between affiliates of Clairvest and Neil Bluhm.
The entire project plans to open by late summer 2011, and will be funded by US$295 million of total debt and US$180 million of equity, with Clairvest, CEP IV, and CEP IV co-investors providing a combined US$72 million for a 40% ownership interest.
The initial phase of Des Plaines Casino is expected to include a 147,000 square foot facility, 1,150 slot machines, 30 gaming tables, four restaurants, three bars, indoor parking and additional amenities. The location for Des Plaines Casino is approximately 1 mile from O’Hare International Airport and 16 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, the third largest city by population in the United States.
“When choosing an equity partner to help finance Des Plaines Casino, Clairvest emerged as a partner of choice given the team’s experience with more than 17 local market casinos,” said Neil Bluhm, founder of Midwest Gaming. “The casino in Des Plaines will provide immediate economic benefits to the local community in addition to offering the closest gaming and entertainment facility to downtown Chicago residents and O’Hare visitors.” Neil Bluhm is also the President of JMB Realty Corporation as well as founder and Managing Principal of Walton Street Capital LLC. Over the past 40 years, he has overseen the acquisition and development of approximately US$40 billion in real estate projects including six gaming facilities.
“We believe we are investing in one of the most promising casino projects in the United States, with an outstanding location and first-class amenities,” said Clairvest Co-CEO Jeff Parr. “We are proud to partner with Neil Bluhm and his experienced team on this project and once again contribute with our capital and expertise in the development of a successful local market casino.” Midwest Gaming is Clairvest’s 33rd platform investment and the first investment by CEP IV. The Clairvest/CEP IV co-investment pool has a targeted capitalization of $400 million and makes equity investments in growth companies.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to known and unknown uncertainties and risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks include the possibility of the project changing or not concluding. Clairvest is under no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein should material facts change due to new information, future events or otherwise.
Clairvest Group Inc. is a Canadian merchant bank that invests its own capital and that of third parties through the Clairvest Equity Partners limited partnerships, in businesses that have the potential to generate superior returns. In addition to providing financing, Clairvest contributes strategic expertise and execution ability to support the growth and development of its investee partners. Clairvest realizes value through investment returns and the eventual disposition of its investments.
Director, Investor Relations and Marketing
Clairvest Group Inc.
Tel: (416) 925-9270
Fax: (416) 925-5753