Eldorado Resorts announced the merger with Caesars Entertainment, reportedly creating the largest gaming company in the US.
The combined company will fly under the Caesars brand. The merger brings the combined 60 casinos across 16 states under the same overarching management. The company will be led by Eldorado’s executives, including Chairman, CEO, COO, CFO, and CLO.
As previously mentioned, the most obvious thing will be the roughly 60 casinos and resorts that will be under the same flag. This includes the Caesars-owned brands of Bally’s, Harrah’s, and Horseshoe casinos.
The deal will be worth roughly $17.3 billion, including Caesars’ $9 billion of debt. Eldorado will part with $7.2 billion in cash and 77 million in stock shares. Eldorado will acquire the rest of Caesars shares for $12.75 a share.
Eldorado shareholders will have a combined 51% of Caesars when the dust settles. Caesars announced they would "adjourn, without conducting any business, its 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders." The meeting was supposed to begin on Monday in Las Vegas.
Tom Reeg, CEO of Eldorado:
“Together, we will have an extremely powerful suite of iconic gaming and entertainment brands, as well as valuable strategic alliances with industry leaders in sports betting and online gaming.
“The combined entity will serve customers in essentially every major U.S. gaming market and will marry best-of-breed practices from both entities to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and significant shareholder returns.”
The Board of Directors for the combined company will be comprised of 11 members, six from Eldorado and five from Caesars. Five of the Eldorado board members will be the executives listed above.
Caesars has famously been in financial trouble for the last four years, declaring bankruptcy in 2015 and forming Vici Properties to own several Caesars properties. As of 2019, they own and lease 21 casinos, hotels, and racetracks to Caesars.
Vici owns most of the Harrah’s properties, and the merger will add three more to the collection. Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Laughlin Hotel & Casino, and New Orleans Hotel & Casino will be purchased for $1.8 billion and added to the lease agreement between Vici and Caesars.
As previously mentioned, Caesars has been in financial trouble until recently. The company was in need of new ownership as the billionaire Carl Icahn invested a major stake into Caesars and became a board member. He pushed the company for more changes following his investment.
Earlier this year, Caesars announced their new CEO Anthony Rodio, who was supported heavily by Icahn. Rodio was only announced in April. It’s unclear if he’ll hang onto a position with the company following the reorganization surrounding the merger.
The deal is expected to become final in the first half of 2020. The merger will be subject to approval by the shareholders of both companies, gaming regulators, and trade regulators. As expected, the merger has already been approved by the Board Directors of Eldorado and Caesars, as well as Vici Properties.
With the expanding US gambling market, this merger will be one to keep an eye on as Eldorado closes in on finishing off the merger in early 2020.