Eldorado Resorts is a step closer to completing its $17.3bn (£13.3bn/€15.6bn) acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corporation after receiving regulatory approval in Missouri.
The state’s gaming commission gave its green light to the deal, which was announced in June and is expected to complete in the first half of 2020.
In an update issued today (Thursday 5 December) Eldorado said the deal – which would see Eldorado acquire all the outstanding shares in Caesars – remains subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals, and other closing conditions. Eldorado and Caesars will have to gain approval from regulatory bodies from all states in which the merged company will operate. It will also need approval from the Federal Trade Commission.
Eldorado owns five casinos in Missouri, but is in the process of selling three of these, including the Isle of Capri in Kansas City.
Last month, shareholders of both Eldorado and Caesars separately voted to approve certain actions in connection with the proposed merger, with over 99% of all votes cast in favour of the transaction.
Should the deal go through as expected, the new business would run around 60 casino resorts and gaming facilities across 16 states. It is set to operate in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The combined entity would operate under the Caesars name, and continue to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
Eldorado said it expects to achieve around $500m in synergies in the first year following the deal’s completion. Eldorado shareholders would hold 51% of the combined entity’s outstanding shares.
“Eldorado’s combination with Caesars will create the largest owner and operator of US gaming assets and is a strategically, financially and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate and long-term value to stakeholders of both companies,” Eldorado chief executive Tom Reeg said at the time of the original announcement.
Caesars chief executive Tony Rodio added: “We believe this combination will build on the accomplishments and best-in-class operating practices of both companies. We are excited to integrate Caesars Rewards with the combined portfolio.”