$17.3 billion casino merger complete; Eldorado Resorts now Caesars Entertainment
RENO, Nev. — The long-awaited $17.3 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment Corporation by Eldorado Resorts, Inc., was made official Monday morning.
The merger creates the largest casino and entertainment company in the U.S. Now known as Caesars Entertainment, Inc., the Reno-based corporation operates more than 55 casino properties worldwide, including an iconic portfolio of eight casino hotel properties on the Las Vegas Strip — as well as The Row in Reno, which consists of the Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus resorts.
“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger, thus making us the premier leader in gaming and hospitality. We look forward to executing on the numerous opportunities ahead to create value for all stakeholders,” Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (and former CEO of Reno-based Eldorado Resorts), said in a Monday press release.
In the press release, 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.”
According to a Monday report from The Associated Press, 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 new 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, according to the AP. In Nevada, executives have said they may sell at least one Las Vegas Strip property.
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.
Indiana and Nevada gaming regulators had already lent approval.
According to past reports, executives have promised federal regulators the company will sell sites in Kansas City, Missouri; Lake Tahoe; and Shreveport, Louisiana. Reeg told Indiana regulators that casinos in Evansville and Elizabeth would likely be sold, with a sale of a casino in Hammond possible.
According to the Caesars press release, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Macquarie Capital served as financial advisors to Eldorado during the months-long acquisition process.
Milbank LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP served as Eldorado’s legal counsel. PJT Partners LP served as financial advisor to CEC. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel to CEC.
“The best transactions are defined by sellers being willing to set their ego aside for the benefit of their customers and employees,” writes Mike Bosma.