Entrepreneur Dan Gilbert's company JACK Entertainment will be selling the Greektown Casino-Hotel for $1 billion.
Penn National Gamic Inc., based in Wymossing, Pennsylvania, and New-York based VICI Properties Inc. are the buyers.
VICI Properties will acquire the land and real estate assets of the casino for approximately $700 million, and Penn National will acquire the operating assets for $300 million.
“We are proud to expand our partnership with Penn National and add Greektown to our growing portfolio of market-leading gaming, hospitality and entertainment destinations," said John Payne, president, and COO of VICI Properties. "As the only casino located in Detroit’s historic Central Business District, Greektown, and its 30-story hotel tower, are ideally situated. Downtown Detroit is benefiting tremendously from billions of dollars of investment across the residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural infrastructure."
According to a release from JACK Entertainment, Gilbert and his family of companies are targeting the capital proceeds from the sale for investment in Detroit real estate.
“Our purchase of Greektown Casino-Hotel five and a half years ago, soon after its bankruptcy, allowed us to work with the great team at the property to create a winning culture and a vibrant business," Gilbert said in a release. “The sale to Penn National and VICI Properties will allow that strong trajectory to continue and provide additional capital to continue our strategic investments in our Detroit real estate and business initiatives.”
Gilbert acquired Greektown back in 2013, but reports were circulating earlier this year that he was looking to sell.
Matt Cullen, CEO of Jack Entertainment tells 7 Action News, the time was right to sell, "We had an opportunity to take advantage of a really good pricing market and were able to achieve a good price."
He also said there are no plans to use the money to buy the Detroit Tigers.
"The Ilitch’s are on record that they intend to be long-term holders of the Tigers," Cullen says. "Dan’s on record there are no conversations."
And what about buying the Detroit Lions? Cullen answers with a bit of a laugh.
"We’ll stay away from the Ford family and their long-term ownership as well," he said. "Seriously this wasn’t to buy a team."
The deal still needs regulatory approval, both at the federal and state levels. The sale is expected to be finalized sometime in 2019.