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Carl Icahn again increases stake in Caesars Entertainment

Hedge fund activist Carl Icahn has increased his stake in Caesars Entertainment Corp.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday, Caesars disclosed the 83-year-old billionaire had upped his previous 15.53 percent stake in company stock to 17.75 percent. He is the company’s largest shareholder.

On Friday, the company disclosed in a filing that Icahn had increased his previous 10 percent stake in company stock to 15.53 percent.

Icahn-controlled High River Limited Partnership, Icahn Partners LP and Icahn Partners Master Fund LP, acquired 15 million shares at $8.45 a share over the weekend, spending $126.7 million.

This month, Icahn negotiated with the company to appoint Icahn Enterprises CEO Keith Cozza, Icahn Enterprises board member James Nelson and Icahn Capital fund manager Courtney Mather to the 12-member board of directors.

With a 17.75 percent ownership position and a quarter of the board loyal to him, Icahn should have considerable influence in selecting Caesars’ next CEO.

Current CEO Mark Frissora, who formerly headed Hertz Global Holdings, has announced plans to step down in April. Icahn has indicated he would like an executive with gaming industry experience in the CEO’s seat.

Icahn will have to appear before Nevada gaming regulators for licensing since his holdings exceed the 10 percent ownership threshold.

Caesars shares closed up 22 cents, 2.6 percent, to $8.67 Monday.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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