Eldorado Resorts Completes Purchase of Caesars Entertainment for $ 17.3 Million

LAS VEGAS – A Nevada company that started in 1973 with a single hotel-casino in Reno announced Monday that it has completed a $ 17.3 billion purchase of Caesars Entertainment Corp. and will take the company’s iconic name in the future as the largest casino owner in the world.

Eldorado Resorts Inc. ERI,
+ 0.63%
He said the combined company will now own and operate more than 55 casino properties in 16 US states, including eight resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger,” Tom Reeg, former CEO of Eldorado Resorts and now CEO of Caesars Entertainment Inc. CZR,
he said in a statement.

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

The purchase also affects Caesars’ properties in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Canada, Dubai and a golf course in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macao. The company jumped on MGM Resorts International MGM,
as the largest casino operation in the world.

The company plans to divest various properties to satisfy antitrust concerns raised before the Federal Trade Commission and regulators grant approvals in Indiana and New Jersey. In Nevada, executives have said they can sell at least one Las Vegas Strip property.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved the deal on Friday, after the combined company announced plans to sell Bally’s Atlantic City. That will leave Caesars Entertainment with three of the nine casinos in Atlantic City: Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana.

The executives promised federal regulators that the company will sell sites in Kansas City, Missouri; South Lake Tahoe, California; and Shreveport, Louisiana. Reeg told Indiana regulators that casinos in Evansville and Elizabeth would likely be sold, with the possibility of selling a casino in Hammond.

In Las Vegas, the combined company now owns Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Flamingo, Linq Hotel, Cromwell, Bally’s, and Rio off the Strip. It will be one of the largest employers in Nevada.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will be the largest single shareholder, with more than 10% of the company combined, Reeg told New Jersey regulators. Icahn acquired a large block of Caesars stock after that company came out of bankruptcy protection in late 2017 and pushed for the sale.

Eldorado founder Don Carano and his family developed a wine and casino empire that grew into 26 gaming properties and more than 18,000 employees in 12 states prior to the purchase. Carano died in 2017. Several family members remain in the executive ranks of the company.

Caesars Entertainment had about 65,000 employees before the casinos closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, including 30,000 in Nevada. Most of its properties have been reopened.

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

JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Macquarie Capital served as financial advisers to the deal.