Eldorado and Caesars complete mega merger

Eldorado Resorts has completed its acquisition of and merger with Caesars Entertainment.

Eldorado Resorts has announced the completion of its acquisition of, and subsequent merger with Caesars Entertainment, creating the largest casino and entertainment business in the US.

This comes after the deal received regulatory approval from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

The merger

Eldorado and Caesars both announced the deal last year which will see Eldorado pay $17.4bn to take ownership of Caesars. Eldorado will fund the acquisition with $7.2bn in cash and approximately 77m Eldorado common shares.

Now that the merger has been completed the combined entity will operate under the name “Caesars Entertainment Inc.”, with a casino portfolio of 55 casino venues around the globe.

The joint portfolio now includes eight casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, along with other casinos across 16 US states including California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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

“Additionally, we are pleased to welcome all of 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.”

Securing approval

The completion of the deal was subject several conditions which included securing regulatory approval in several US states.

In November, shareholders from both operators approved the deal, while regulators in other states approved the merger.

In June, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also approved the deal, after requiring Eldorado to sell two of its casino venues to Twin River Worldwide Holdings in jurisdictions where the merger was deemed uncompetitive.

The deal received a complaint under the Clayton Antitrust Act which argued that the proposed deal would harm the competing casino operators in several jurisdictions.

Concerns were raised over the South Lake Tahoe market on the border of California and Nevada, the Shreveport and Bossier City market in Louisiana, and the Kansas City market in Kansas and Missouri.

The complaint argued that the merger would reduce the number of active casino operators in South Lake Tahoe from three to two and in the other markets, operators would reduce from five to four. As a result of this, the FTC made its approval of the merger and acquisition conditional on Eldorado selling Eldorado Casino Shreveport in Louisiana, and the MontBleu Resort in Lake Tahoe.

In April, Twin River announced plans to acquire Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Casino Resort & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada for $155m. Twin River also inked a separate deal to acquire the Caesars-owned Bally’s Atlantic City for $25m.

Earlier this month, Twin River announced it had completed the acquisition of Eldorado Resorts’ Ilse of Capri Casino in Kansas City, Missouri and the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Last week, the Indiana Gaming Commission approved the merger but ordered the business to sell three Indiana casinos. As both Caesars and Eldorado, operate several casinos in the state of Indiana the regulator had some reservations about the deal.

Caesars operates Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Horseshoe Hammond Casino, Caesars Southern Indiana Casino, and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, while Eldorado owns and operates the Tropicana casino in Evansville.

The regulator said that the combined business entity would control up to 60% of the state’s gambling revenue. Eldorado volunteered to divest two of its casinos in the state, but the regulator said it would need to offload three venues.

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