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Leisure Acquisition pulls plug on merger agreement with Gateway Casinos

A U.S. company has terminated its merger agreement with Canada's Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. that could have created a publicly traded company valued at nearly $1.5 billion. Leisure Acquisition Corp.

A U.S. company has terminated its merger agreement with Canada's Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. that could have created a publicly traded company valued at nearly $1.5 billion.

Leisure Acquisition Corp. says in a regulatory filing that it "elected to terminate" the Dec. 27 agreement and plan of merger as permitted if the combination wasn't completed by Wednesday.

It gave no reason for its decision, which comes as Gateway tries to recover from being forced to shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the plan, the special purpose acquisition company listed on Nasdaq was to be acquired by Gateway's parent GTWY Holdings Ltd., which planned to have a New York Stock Exchange listing.

The majority owner of GTWY is Catalyst Capital Group Inc., a private Toronto-based firm. Its managing director, Gabriel de Alba, is executive chairman of Gateway.

Gateway operates 25 gaming and entertainment destinations in British Columbia and Ontario, including a resort on the Rama First Nation, about 150 kilometres north of Toronto.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2019.

The Canadian Press