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Caesars seeks $1.5 billion in new debt

Caesars Entertainment Corp. on Monday announced plans to issue $1.5 billion in new debt to pay down other loans while pushing due dates to 2020.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Caesars said the proceeds also would cover related fees and expenses.

Caesars Entertainment, which operates 10 resorts on or near the Strip and more than 50 casinos nationwide, has nearly $20 billion in long-term debt, the highest figure in the casino industry.

As part of the SEC filing, Caesars told investors the company expects to record a fourth-quarter net loss of $452 million to $556 million. A year ago Caesars’ net loss was $246.9 million.

Caesars said it expects to report net revenues for the quarter in the range of $1.55 billion to $1.58 billion. The figure excludes Harrah’s St. Louis, which was sold to Penn National Gaming for $610 million last fall.

The company, which expects to officially report its fourth quarter and year-end earnings Feb. 25, predicted revenues for the three-month period will be relatively flat compared to 2011.

Caesars said a revenue increase from its Las Vegas properties would be offset by an expected decline in revenues from Atlantic City, which was hurt by closures associated with Superstorm Sandy in October. The company owns four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos.

Shares of Caesars closed at $8.71 on the New York Stock Exchange Monday, up 90 cents or 11.52 percent. The company announced the debt offering prior to the market’s opening.

Caesars Entertainment is one of the few casino operators expanding into new markets. The company opened the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland last year and is opening the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati in March.

Both projects are in partnership with Detroit-based Rock Gaming. Caesars and Rock also plan a Horseshoe-brand casino in downtown Baltimore.

Caesars and the Suffolk Downs Racetrack in Boston are bidding to develop a hotel-casino complex in that Northeastern city.

In Las Vegas, Caesars opened a 600-room hotel tower expansion at Caesars Palace last year and reopened the property’s second-oldest tower Monday as the $30 million Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace.

The company is spending $550 million on the Linq development on the Strip next to the Flamingo, which includes 300,000 square-feet of dining, retail and entertainment. The centerpiece of Linq will be the 550-foot-tall High Roller observation wheel.

Linq’s plans also include a renovation of the former Imperial Palace, now called The Quad.

On Monday, Caesars closed Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon on the Strip for a yearlong $185 million renovation and conversion of the 198-room hotel-casino into a boutique-style property.

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

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