Pinnacle Rises as Orange Capital Buys Stake, Urges REIT Spinoff

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK) rose the most in five months after activist investor Orange Capital LLC disclosed a 4.5 percent stake and urged the casino owner to spin off its properties into a real estate investment trust.

The shares rose 7.9 percent to $23.83 at 12:20 p.m. in New York after climbing as much as 8.8 percent, the most intraday since Nov. 6.

Orange Capital, the hedge fund co-founded by Daniel Lewis, is in talks with Las Vegas-based Pinnacle’s board and management and is pushing for a transaction that would distribute the proposed REIT to the company’s shareholders in a tax-free transaction, according to a regulatory filing today.

Pinnacle owns and operates 14 casinos in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Nevada, as well as racetracks. New York-based Orange Capital, which said it holds 2.64 million shares of Pinnacle, also has targeted companies such as Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., a hotel REIT, and PHH Corp., a mortgage and fleet manager.

Penn National Gaming Inc., a Pinnacle competitor, last year spun off most of its real estate into a REIT similar to what was proposed by Orange Capital, creating Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc., the first casino real estate investment trust.

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at; Anthony Palazzo at John Lear, Ben Livesey

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