Eldorado’s acquisition of Caesars is finalised

by William Brown Last Updated
Eldorado and Caesars deal in jeopardy

Eldorado, which started with a single hotel-casino in Reno in 1973 announced on Monday that it has completed a $17.3 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment and will take the iconic company’s name going forward as the largest casino owner in the world.

Houma Today reports Eldorado said the combined company will now own and operate more than 55 casino properties in 16 states across the US, including eight resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger,” former chief executive officer of Eldorado Resorts and now chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment Tom Reeg said.

Mr Reeg promised to welcome the combined company’s tens of thousands of employees and to create value for stakeholders using “strategic initiatives that will position the company for continued growth.”

The buyout also affects Caesars properties in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Canada, Dubai and a golf course in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.

The company vaulted over MGM Resorts International as the world’s largest casino operation.

Trading under the Caesars stock symbol, CZR, will begin Tuesday, said Anthony Carano, company president and chief operating officer.

“We’re excited as a company and a family to lead such an iconic gambling company with 80,000 team members all over the country,” Mr Carano said.

The company plans to shed several properties to satisfy antitrust concerns raised before approvals were granted by the Federal Trade Commission and regulators in Indiana and New Jersey.

In Nevada, executives have said they may sell at least one Las Vegas Strip property.

Mr Carano acknowledged the combined company now carries $13 billion in debt and has billions in additional obligations to VICI Properties and another real estate investment trust, Gaming and Leisure Properties.

He said that the company was “in a great financial position as Caesars going forward from here” and will reduce debt.

Properties outside the US will likely be sold, he said.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved the deal Friday, after the combined company announced plans to sell Bally’s Atlantic City.

That will leave Caesars Entertainment with three of nine casinos in Atlantic City: Caesars, Harrah’s and the Tropicana.

Executives promised federal regulators the company will sell sites in Kansas City, Missouri; South Lake Tahoe; California; and Shreveport, Louisiana.

Mr Reeg told Indiana regulators that casinos in Evansville and Elizabeth would likely be sold, with a sale of a casino in Hammond possible.

In Las Vegas, the combined company now owns Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s Las Vegas, the Flamingo, Linq Hotel, Cromwell, Bally’s and the Rio off the Strip.

It will be one of the largest employers in Nevada.

Eldorado founder Dan Carano and his family developed a winemaking and casino empire that grew into 26 gambling properties and more than 18,000 employees in 12 states before the buyout.

Carano died in 2017, with his grandson Anthony now involved in company affairs.

New Jersey regulators consider Eldorado and Caesar’s sale proposal

Gambling regulators in New Jersey have begun to consider a proposal from Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts to buy Caesars Entertainment, in a sweeping $17.3 billion deal affecting four of nine casino properties in Atlantic City.

Houma Today reports that approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission could come Thursday, and would be the final hurdle in Eldorado’s bid to become what Commissioner Alisa Cooper called ‘the biggest gaming company in the world’.

The casino giant would control 52 properties in 16 American states under the Caesars Entertainment brand.

“Atlantic City is going to be a significant piece of this combined company,” Eldorado chief executive Thomas Reeg testified during a daylong video hearing.

Company executives acknowledged previous understaffing at Atlantic City properties and promised that future job cuts at the combined company’s properties would be cleared first by state regulators.

A $25 million sale of Bally’s Atlantic City hotel-casino by Caesars Entertainment and VICI Properties to Rhode Island-based Twin River Worldwide Holdings is pending.

That would leave Eldorado with three resorts within driving distance of New York and Philadelphia: Caesars, Harrah’s and the Tropicana Atlantic City.

The company is committing to keeping the properties open for at least five years.

Eldorado chief financial officer Bret Yunker promised $400 million in improvements to the three properties over the next three years, followed by reinvestment of five per cent of revenues annually.

“Atlantic City, where it sits, is in the middle of a gigantic population centre,” Mr Reeg said.

Caesars Entertainment had some 65,000 employees before casino closures in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, including 30,000 in Nevada.

Most of its properties have reopened.

The merger also involves properties in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

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