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Eldorado completes mega-merger with Caesars


Eldorado Resorts has completed its acquisition of, and subsequent merger, with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, in a deal that creates the largest casino and entertainment business in the US.

The two operators announced the deal in June last year, with Eldorado agreeing to pay $17.3bn – comprising $7.2bn in cash and around 77m Eldorado common shares – to take ownership of Caesars.

The mega-merger had been subject to a host of regulatory approvals, the last of which came from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which cleared the way for the acquisition to go through.

Following completion, the combined business will now operate under the name ‘Caesars Entertainment Inc.’, with a portfolio of more than 55 casino properties around the world.

The joint portfolio includes eight casino hotel properties on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, as well as casino locations across a further 15 US states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Colorado and Illinois.

“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger, thus making us the premier leader in gaming and hospitality,” Caesars Entertainment chief executive Tom Reeg said. “We look forward to executing on the numerous opportunities ahead to create value for all stakeholders.

“Additionally, we’re pleased to welcome all our team members to the combined company, and we look forward to implementing all of the strategic initiatives that will position the company for continued growth.”

The merger was facilitated by the combined entity agreeing to sell a number of properties, with a number of state regulators making their approval for the deal conditional on these divestments.

Last week, the Indiana Gaming Commission ordered the combined entity to sell three casinos in the state, due to reservations it had about the deal. Eldorado operates the Tropicana, and Caesars Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Horseshoe Hammond Casino, Caesars Southern Indiana Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.

The US Federal Trade Commission last month gave the merger the go-ahead, after requiring Eldorado to sell two of its properties.

Sales of both the Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Casino Resort & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada to Twin River Worldwide Holdings, for a purchase price of $155m, were agreed in April. Twin River is also to acquire Caesars’ Bally Atlantic City through that agreement, for $25m.