In a cash-and-stock deal, including debt, announced on Monday saw Eldorado Resorts merge with Caesars Entertainment in a bid to form US largest gambling company. This is seen as one rival operator to the likes of Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts who have also made their name in the gambling industry.
60 casinos in 16 states
The deal sees Caesars Properties; Caesars Palace, Bally’s and Harrah’s merge with Eldorado properties which have operated largely in the Midwest and South. Eldorado has had 26 gambling properties in the US which have been operated in areas like Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, New Jersey and Louisiana. The firm will have 60 casinos operated in 16 states.
The new company will be called Caesars but its top leadership will be from Eldorado. Some of the top leadership names that will be on board include; Gary Carano who is the Eldorado’s Chairman and Tom Reeg who is the Eldorado CEO. The firm will be traded in Nasdaq Stock Market and based in Reno. To acquire the name and properties of Caesar, Eldorado Resorts will have to part with $7.2 Billion and part with stock shares of around 77 million.
For a share, Eldorado will pay $8.40 in cash with the rest being in the form of stock. This will see a 0.0899 share of Eldorado stock swapped for every Caesar’s share. Eldorado will also take Caesars debt. Caesars which had 53 properties spread out in 14 states and largely in 5 other countries had its debt standing at $8.79 Billion. With the deal, Eldorado will have the largest share at 51% as compared to Caesars which will have their share standing at 49%. This will also see the 11 firm board comprise of 6 members coming from Eldorado and the other 5 coming from Caesar.
Speaking of the partnership, the CEO Eldorado Resorts said, ‘Together, we will have an extremely powerful suite of iconic gaming and entertainment brand as well as valuable strategic alliances with industry leaders in sports betting and online gaming’
The deal comes in the wake of Caesar agreeing to give Carl Icahn, Caesar shareholder and billionaire investor, three board seats and letting him have a say on the next CEO selection. This saw him support the appointment of Anthony Rodio as the new CEO. The partnership was welcomed by him terming the merger as ‘rare’ and eventually hoping the investments prosper. He would go forward to praise the board for the negotiations and the aftermath transaction.
Carl Icahn, who owns about 18% stake with the company, had long wanted fundamental changes in Caesar Entertainment and campaigned for its purchase. Late 2017, Caesar entertainment had been from bankruptcy protection and the journey has not been smooth since then and the deal would not come at any better time.
A parallel deal was also signed which will see VICI Properties receive some of the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino and Harrah’s Laughlin Hotel & Casino’s real estate and the proceeds estimated to be about $3.2 Billion will help in clearing some of the down debt.
The Eldorado-Caesar deal is projected to close by next year’s first half after the gaming regulators and shareholders approve the deal.