Terms of Caesars restructuring, spinoff company set

Caesars Entertainment Corp. told shareholders they have until Oct. 17 to participate in a stock sale that will raise $1.18 billion and place ownership of Planet Hollywood, the company’s interactive division and a new Baltimore casino into a new holding company.

Caesars announced the restructuring effort in April. Nevada gaming regulators signed off on the plan in July.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday, shareholders as of Oct. 17 will get the right to buy one share of Caesars Acquisition Co. for each share of the parent company they own.

The new company will be part owner, along with Caesars Entertainment, of Caesars Growth Partners, which will own Planet Hollywood, the under-construction Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which operates the World Series of Poker. Caesars Interactive launched WSOP.com, a pay-to-play online poker site, in Nevada last month.

Caesars has said the new company will raise funds for development projects, such as new casinos in the U.S. and interactive gaming opportunities.

Caesars, in partnership with 888 Holdings, is planning to launch Internet gaming sites in New Jersey connected to the company’s four Atlantic City casinos.

Caesars has a gaming industry-high $23.5 billion of long-term debt. The company is refinancing nearly $5 billion of the debt coming due early next year. As part of the refinancing effort, Caesars raised more than $200 million in a stock sale.

The $400 million Horseshoe Baltimore is expected to open in 2015. Caesars will manage the casino and owns a portion of the property in a joint venture with Detroit-based Rock Gaming. Caesars and Rock operate casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati and a racetrack casino south of Cleveland.

Caesars is also in partnership with the Suffolk Downs Racetrack in an effort to build a $1 billion hotel-casino complex in the Boston area.

During a hearing on the spinoff plan with the Nevada Gaming Control Board in July, Caesars Deputy General Counsel Michael Cohen said the concept wouldn’t reduce the company’s debt load.

About $500 million of the debt is tied to Planet Hollywood and it would move to the new entity.

“Compared to our capital structure, that’s not a big change,” he told the control board. “Caesars has a lot of debt. We think it’s manageable, but others disagree.”

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

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