Leucadia Sells Mississippi Casino Unit for $250 Million

Leucadia National Corp., the investment firm run by Jefferies Group LLC Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, agreed to sell its gaming unit to Twin River Management Group Inc. for $250 million.

The deal to sell Premier Entertainment Biloxi LLC, which owns and operates the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, will result in a gain of $25 million, New York-based Leucadia said today in a regulatory filing. That’s based on the book value of Leucadia’s investment in Premier as of Sept. 30. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2014.

Leucadia acquired Premier in 2006, and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opened to the public a year later, according to Leucadia’s 2012 annual report. It has about 1,300 slot machines, 50 table games and five restaurants, the firm said. Twin River is seeking to diversify its revenue to “better withstand industry and marketplace challenges,” the Lincoln, Rhode Island-based casino operator said yesterday in a statement.

“This very deliberate growth strategy is intended to well position Twin River Worldwide Holdings as an important and successful company in the gaming industry,” John E. Taylor, chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, said in yesterday’s statement.

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