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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Gaming Commission OKs plans for Caesars spinoff

26 July 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada gaming commissioners on Thursday approved Caesars Entertainment Inc.’s plan to spin Planet Hollywood Resort, its interactive gaming business and a planned Baltimore casino into a separate company majority owned by the gambling giant.

Caesars officials said the transaction could close by the fall. The restructuring requires approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission and Maryland gaming regulators.

The company, which controls more than 50 casinos and hotels throughout the U.S., including 10 on or near the Strip, said in April that it was creating a new business entity to finance potential growth investments and boost Caesars’ balance sheet.

Caesars officials told the commission the company and the newly formed Caesars Acquisition would create Caesars Growth Partners, which includes Planet Hollywood, Caesars Interactive Entertainment and the under-development Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this month, company officials said they would raise $1.18 billion from selling stock for the new public entity. The company will distribute rights to stockholders to buy as many as 125.4 million shares of Caesars Acquisition at $9.43 per share.

Caesars Entertainment and its private equity owners — TPG Global and Apollo Global Management — will have as much as 70 percent ownership in the new company. The private equity groups are expected to invest $500 million in the venture.

Caesars Entertainment Deputy General Counsel Michael Cohen said the transaction was not a traditional spinoff-type deal since, but a transaction to increase financing and growth. Caesars can bring the businesses back into the company after five years.

“This is a unique transaction where Caesars is selling assets, yet continuing to manage and benefit from them,” Cohen said.

Cohen said nothing will change in terms of operation of the businesses.

Caesars Interactive is potentially one of the company’s most lucrative operations. The business operates the World Series of Poker and the Playtika social gaming segment.

Caesars plans to launch legal and regulated World Series of Poker websites in Nevada and New Jersey.

Caesars Growth Partners also will earn management fees from Planet Hollywood and from Horseshoe Baltimore when it opens in 2015.
Gaming Commission OKs plans for Caesars spinoff is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.