The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians (the "Tribe") and its wholly owned subsidiary, Buena Vista Gaming Authority (BVGA), have announced the completion of a syndicated loan restructuring to refinance BVGA's existing debt and provide additional working capital for future growth opportunities.
Western Alliance Gaming, a national specialty banking group within Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, served as Lead Arranger, Sole Bookrunner and Administrative Agent for the $185.0MM term loan. Other financial institutions involved in the restructuring include Zions Bancorporation, N.A., dba Nevada State Bank, CIT Bank, a Division of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company and Columbia State Bank.
“Our partnership with Western Alliance Bank has been very helpful in moving our Tribe into bank financing and providing a positive economic impact to our Tribe for generations to come,” said Rhonda L. Morningstar Pope Flores, Chairwoman of the Tribal Council of the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians. “Their leadership and entire Western Alliance Bank team is authentic and a pleasure to work with.”
BVGA and the Tribe are also transitioning their depository accounts and treasury management services to Western Alliance Bank.
BVGA owns and operates Harrah's Northern California tribal casino in Ione, California, approximately 50 miles southeast of Sacramento. The casino is a 71,000 state-of-the-art facility with a 25,000 square-foot casino floor constructed and opened in May of 2019 on nearly 13 acres of the Tribe's Indian reservation.
“We are honored that BVGA trusted Western Alliance Bank to provide the industry knowledge and experience to successfully execute the subject capital market transaction permitting the Tribe to build on its gaming success in Northern California," said Ashan Perera, managing director of Western Alliance Gaming. “Western Alliance Bank’s creative financing, bifurcating the capital structure between an OpCo and PropCo, enabled us to help deleverage and position BVGA and the Tribe for future success.”
The Tribe's mission is to promote the health and general welfare of Tribe members and to administer charity and other services that may contribute to members' social and economic advancement.
The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe in Amador County, California. Me-Wuk Indians have occupied the area since 1817, and the Tribe has occupied the Rancheria land from as early as 1905. The Tribe has developed a Natural Resources Department and a Child Development Center, which administer programs focusing on resource management, cultural repatriation and clean water. Additionally, the Tribe has revitalized and restored cultural and ceremonial areas, a sweat lodge and a cultural center on the Rancheria.
Western Alliance Gaming is led by gaming industry banking experts Philip Potamitis, Ashan Perera and Laura Linton.