Caesars may offer minority stakes to raise $1.5 billion in debt

Caesars Entertainment Corp. said it might sell minority stakes in the Planet Hollywood casino and its interactive gaming business as part of its effort to secure an additional $1.5 billion in debt.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Caesars said it would retain majority ownership and operational aspects of the assets.

“We are pursuing this transaction because we believe it will improve our liquidity and credit profile, enhance our distribution network and provide additional support for potential new ventures,” the company said in the SEC filing.

The company’s subsidiary, Caesars Growth Venture Partners, listed Planet Hollywood Resort, Caesars Interactive Entertainment – which owns the World Series of Poker – and the company’s planned casino in Baltimore as assets it would consider offering up for minority interest.

“There are no commitments with respect to any such transaction and there have been no agreements with respect to price or value,” the company said. “The transfer of such assets would require the approval of regulators and other third parties, which we may not be able to obtain.”

Caesars already is in partnership with Detroit-based Rock Gaming on the Baltimore casino. Caesars would have both ownership interest and earn management fees. The casino is expected to open next year.

Caesars opened the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland last year and is opening the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati in March. Both projects are in partnership with Rock Gaming, which has an agreement to purchase a minority stake in Caesars Interactive.

The online subsidiary operates legal Internet gaming websites in Europe and is looking to launch a pay-for-play World Series of Poker website in Nevada.

Caesars Entertainment announced plans to issue $1.5 billion in new debt to pay down other loans while pushing due dates to 2020. In the SEC filing, Caesars said the proceeds also would cover related fees and expenses.

Shares of Caesars Entertainment closed at $8.40 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, down 31 cents, or 3.56 percent.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871.
Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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