Big rollers: Eldorado buys Caesars for $17B

News

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 30: Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino is seen on May 30, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Eldorado Resorts will buy Caesars in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $17.3 billion, creating a casino giant.

The acquisition Monday puts about 60 casinos and resorts in 16 states under a single name, one of the biggest gambling and entertainment ventures in the United States.

“Together, we will have an extremely powerful suite of iconic gaming and entertainment brands, as well as valuable strategic alliances with industry leaders in sports betting and online gaming,” Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg said in a prepared statement.

The company, which will be called Caesars, will be led by Reeg, along with Eldorado Chairman Gary Carano. It will be based in Reno Nevada, where Eldorado is based, with a “significant corporate presence” in Las Vegas, where Caesars is based.

Eldorado will pay $8.40 per share in cash and 0.0899 shares of Eldorado stock for each Caesars share, or $12.75 per share. It will also assume Caesars’ debt.

Shareholders of Eldorado Resorts Inc. will hold about 51% of the company’s outstanding stock, with Caesars Entertainment Corp. shareholders holding the remaining and 49%.

Earlier this year, billionaire Carl Icahn to an enormous stake in Caesars and pushed for fundamental changes at the company. Caesars, which operates more than 35 casinos in the U.S., emerged from bankruptcy protection in late 2017, but it’s been struggling since.

Eldorado said Monday that it’s also reached a real estate agreement with VICI Properties Inc. in which VICI will acquire the real estate associated with Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Harrah’s Laughlin Hotel & Casino, and Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino for approximately $1.8 billion. Other terms of the deal include VICI being given right of first refusals for whole asset sale or sale-leaseback transactions on two Las Vegas Strip properties and the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

The Eldorado-Caesars deal is targeted to close in the first half of next year if approved by gaming regulators and shareholders.

Caesars’ stock jumped 14.6% before the market open, while shares of Eldorado fell 4.3%.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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