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Orange Capital urges Pinnacle Entertainment to spin off real estate

April 21 (Reuters) - Pinnacle Entertainment Inc shareholder Orange Capital LLC said it had asked the casino operator to consider spinning off its real estate into a separately traded real estate investment trust.

Pinnacle's shares rose as much as 9 percent in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

New York-based Orange Capital, which raised its stake in the company to 4.5 percent, as of April 10, said it was in talks with the company regarding opportunities to maximize shareholder value. (http://r.reuters.com/paq68v)

Orange Capital owned 3 percent, as of Dec. 31.

"... The company is valued at a significant discount to Pinnacle's closest peer, the combined Penn National Gaming Inc and its real estate owner, Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc," Daniel Lewis, managing partner of Orange Capital, wrote in a letter to Pinnacle's chief executive.

Penn National Gaming spun off its real estate holdings into a REIT, Gaming and Leisure Properties, in November.

Pinnacle owns and operates 14 casinos in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Nevada.

The company said it would assess opportunities to grow and operate under the most efficient corporate structure. "We look forward to continuing to discuss these important topics with shareholders," it said.

Baron Capital Management Inc and BlackRock Institutional Trust Co are Pinnacle's largest shareholders.

Pinnacle's shares were up 7.5 percent at $23.73.

(Reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)