Fertitta Entertainment agrees to pay as much as $33 million to avoid a legal battle. The company reached a termination and settlement deal with FAST Acquisition, the special purpose acquisition company it planned to merge with. The merger was to take a swath of Tilman Fertitta’s casino and restaurant empire public.

The companies agreed to nix the merger and avoid a court battle when the Houston billionaire, who also owns the Houston Rockets, agreed to the settlement payment. “At the end of the day we ultimately determined that the right decision for my company was to remain private at this time,” Fertitta said.

The proposed merger of Fertitta Entertainment and FAST had been in development since February. Both companies deny breaking the merger contract, but “believe that litigation relating to the foregoing matters would be expensive, time-consuming, distracting and disruptive,” according to the settlement.

Fertitta also agreed to pay an additional $26 million if the blank check company fails to merge with another company before it must liquidate next August. Blank check companies have, by regulation, limited time to merge. “Through this settlement we ensured that we are sufficiently capitalized to seek a new target,” FAST founder Doug Jacob said.
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