Peter Carlino and Penn National Gaming have been flirting with a Las Vegas purchase for what seems like forever. They were most often the ones mentioned when it came to MGM selling The Mirage (as long as you didn't believe the BS about Steve Wynn taking back his old now hand-me-downs).
The Marnell's built M for a cost of $1 billion (not counting another $240MM for the land it sits on). Today, Lloyds Banking sold that debt to PENN, including a $160MM note owned by MGM, for $230.5 million. Yes, 23 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR! That's an amazing deal for Carlino and crew, buying an almost brand new property that has been well taken care of since it was opened.
M's location may still be more challenge than opportunity but that will change in time. Carlino is seizing a great opportunity here and I'm sure this investment will pay off for them in the long run.
Penn is already licensed in Nevada so I'd expect this transaction to go down smoothly.
What will happen to the young Marnell? Sounds like he's out, no doubt looking for his next opportunity. He gambled on M and lost but I'm sure we haven't heard the last of him.
I think the real question here is what PENN will do to the place - they have a reputation for.... uh... being very... uh, efficient. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the more interesting and costly little touches at M cut to bring costs down.