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Caesars offloads Harrah’s Louisiana to Rubico Acquisition


Caesars Entertainment – the operating name for the newly combined Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Eldorado Resorts business – has agreed to sell its Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment property to Rubico Acquisition for $22.0m.

Caesars will receive $16.5m in proceeds from the sale, with $5.5m going to VICI Properties, a real estate investment trust spun off from the operator in 2017, subject to customary adjustments for cash and net working capital.

The acquisition agreement also stated that annual base rent payments under the regional master lease between Caesars and VICI will remain unchanged.

Subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, Caesars expects the acquisition to close at the end of 2020 or early next year.

The agreed sale comes after Eldorado Resorts in July completed its acquisition of Caesars, in a deal that saw the two parties to create what the said is now the largest casino and entertainment business in the US.

The merger arrangement, first announced in June last year, saw Eldorado agree to pay $17.3bn to take control of Caesars, with the joint business now running under the Caesars Entertainment Inc. name.

The deal had been subject to a host of regulatory approvals, with individual state regulators submitting certain requests in order for the acquisition to go ahead, including requirements for Caesars and Eldorado to sell certain properties for competition reasons.

In Louisiana, the state’s Gaming Control Board approved the deal in January this year, but did not mention requiring the business to sell any of its properties in the state.

However, the existing Eldorado business in April said that it had agreed to sell its Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana, as well as the Mont Bleu Casino Resort & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, to Twin River Worldwide, for a total of $155m.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had requested the two sales after it raised concerns that the merger would make the two markets uncompetitive. The sales, which were both contingent on the Eldorado-Caesars merger going ahead, were completed in July.

Twin River also agreed to purchase Caesars’ Bally Atlantic City through the same agreement, in a deal worth approximately $25m.

Elsewhere, the Indiana Gaming Commission ordered the entity to sell three of its casinos in the state, due to the fact the joint business operated so many casinos in the state.

Eldorado operates the Tropicana, and Caesars Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Horseshoe Hammond Casino, Caesars Southern Indiana Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, but the Commission did not state which casinos should be sold.

The Missouri Gaming Commission also gave its approval to the mega-merger after the legacy Eldorado business agreed to sell three of its five casinos in the state, including the Isle of Capri in Kansas City.