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Pinnacle to buy Ameristar Casinos for about $869M

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Pinnacle Entertainment is buying Ameristar Casinos for about $869 million, plus taking on its $1.9 billion in debt.

If approved by shareholders and regulators, the deal would more than double Pinnacle's casino and resort holdings to 17 in the United States.

Pinnacle will pay $26.50 for each share of Ameristar Casinos Inc. That's a 20 percent premium over the company's Thursday closing stock price of $22.07. The deal also includes $116 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both Las Vegas operators.

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. says it expects the acquisition to result in cost savings of at least $40 million a year and boost the company's earnings after closing.

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