Caesars Entertainment, which owns Harrah’s and Bally’s hotels and casinos, is getting ready to put itself up for sale as soon as this week, according to the NY Post.
The $24 billion company plans to announce within days that its board has approved a sales process amid pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, sources told The Post.
The move comes as Caesars has finally Ok’d a second potential suitor into its “data room” to review its financials, sources close to the situation said. Only one other suitor had checked out Caesars’ books previously.
Billionaire Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the Houston Rockets, was recently invited to conduct due diligence using the casino company’s records, sources said. This is a change from November when his merger offer was rebuffed due to a concern about the strength of the offer.
Caesars had previously given rival Eldorado Resorts, which owns the Tropicana in Atlantic City, access to its financial records, according to reports.
Caesars is valued at $5.6 billion on the Nasdaq stock market, but carries a whopping $18 billion in debt — giving it a valuation of $23.6 billion.
Icahn has been pushing for a sale since he first announced he was an investor in February, with a 10 percent stake. He has quickly become the company’s largest shareholder — amassing a 28.5 percent stake, including swaps.
Icahn, 83, has been advocating for a strategic buyer to take over and help turn around the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2017.
Carl Icahn may partner up with Tilman Fertitta for Caesars bid
Both Fertitta and Eldorado fit that bill: Fertitta runs five Golden Nugget casinos, including in Las Vegas and Biloxi, Miss., while Eldorado Resorts owns 26 properties across the country, including Circus Circus and Silver Legacy.
On Monday, Icahn’s control over Caesars is expected to grow even tighter with a fourth board seat, sources said. He presently has three board seats and has been promised an additional seat if the company does not get a permanent CEO by an April 15 deadline.
The Caesars board is now focused on cutting corporate expenses, as Icahn has demanded, two sources close to the situation said.
Caesars spent $332 million in corporate expenses for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018 and $202 million the prior year.
Caesars shares rose 3 percent Wednesday, to close at $9.05.
By Josh Kosman April 10, 2019 | 9:28pm