Posts Tagged ‘Caesars’

Caesars Sells Harrah’s Las Vegas for $1.14 Billion

 Caesars Sells Harrah’s Las Vegas for $1.14 Billion

Caesars Entertainment Corporation has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell Harrah’s Las Vegas to VICI Properties for $ 1.14 billion. If this sounds rather shocking, you may be relieved to know (or not really care, as the case may be) that it is all part of a plan.

In mid-November, Caesars announced that it will acquire Centaur Holdings, LLC for $ 1.7 billion in cash. Centaur owns Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Indiana and the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana. The sale of Harrah’s Las Vegas is being used to finance the Centaur deal.

It will also continue to be business as usual at Harrah’s, as Caesars will enter into a 15-year lease for the property, paying VICI an initial annual rent of $ 87.4 million, a number which will increase as the years go on. Caesars will continue to operate Harrah’s. When the lease term is up, Caesars will be able to extend the lease for up to 20 years in four five-year extensions.

On top of that, Caesars is acquiring an 18.4 acre plot of land adjacent to Harrah’s from VICI on which it plans to build a 300,000 square foot convention center. The development “is expected to feature the largest column-free ballroom in the United States and to be outfitted with state-of-the-art technology.”

“The transactions we are announcing today demonstrate our commitment to pursuing growth opportunities while maintaining balance-sheet discipline,” said Mark Frissora, President and Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment, in a press release. “We expect the sale and leaseback of Harrah’s Las Vegas will allow us to acquire Centaur and develop the convention center without increasing leverage. The sale and leaseback transaction is our first post-emergence transaction with VICI and maintains Harrah’s Las Vegas’ connectivity to our network, which will create value and provide benefits to our guests. The acquisition of the adjacent land and development of the convention center allows us to develop another important destination right in the middle of our center-Strip footprint.”

That center-strip footprint includes, from north to south on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip: Harrah’s, Linq, Flamingo, Cromwell, Bally’s, Paris, and Planet Hollywood. Caesars Palace is across the street from Harrah’s. The company also owns the Rio just off the Strip, which is the home of the World Series of Poker.

The deal stipulates that once the convention center is completed, Caesars can actually require VICI buy the property and lease it back to Caesars, like it is doing with Harrah’s. If Caesars does not exercise that option, VICI can decide for itself if it wants to do it, anyway.

The post Caesars Sells Harrah’s Las Vegas for $ 1.14 Billion appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Chinese Consortium Acquires Playtika from Caesars

 Chinese Consortium Acquires Playtika from Caesars

Caesars Acquisition Corp. and Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co., Ltd. announced Saturday that a consortium of Chinese firms has acquired Playtika, the social and mobile gaming division of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (CIE). The deal, which was rumored to be in the works less than two weeks ago, is worth $ 4.4 billion.

According to a press release, the Chinese consortium consists of “Giant Investment (HK) Limited; Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma; China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd.; China Minsheng Trust Co., Ltd.; CDH China HF Holdings Company Limited; and Hony Capital Fund.”

This looks to be a good deal for Caesars, as it gets the multi-billion dollar cash injection, which may help with its current bankruptcy issues, while CIE did not have to give up the World Series of Poker brand or Despite Caesars’ financial issues, CIE has actually done quite well, posting an EBIDTA of over $ 360 million this year. Though the WSOP and are the most recognizable brands of CIE, the company was obviously an attractive acquisition without them. The WSOP is quite profitable in and of itself, as well, so finding a way to keep it was a shrewd move by CIE.

The consortium, to this point, has no plans to make any drastic changes to Playtika’s operations. It will continue be headquartered in Herzliya, Israel, will remain its own entity, and current management will continue to be in place.

Robert Antokol, Co-Founder and CEO of Playtika, said of the business deal:

This transaction is a testament to Playtika’s unique culture and the innovative spirit of our employees who for the past six years have consistently designed, produced and operated some of the most compelling, immersive and creative social games in the world. We are incredibly excited by the commercial opportunities the Consortium will make available to us, particularly in its ability to provide us access to large and rapidly growing emerging markets. This is an amazing milestone for all Playtikans and we truly value how unique this opportunity is to continue executing our vision with such a strong partner.

Though Playtika’s games are generally free-to-play, as we all likely well know, free mobile and social games usually offer plenty of opportunity for players to spend real money by purchasing virtual currency. This virtual currency can be used in a variety of ways in free-to-play games, such as extending the time a player can play (in Playtika’s case, that might involve buying more chips if one goes “virtually broke”), purchasing items that enhance game play, or even just buying vanity items like costumes for a player’s character.

“It has been a particularly rewarding experience growing Playtika from a 10-person start-up, when CIE acquired them in 2011, into a global leader,” said Caesars Interactive Entertainment Chairman and CEO, Mitch Garber, in the press release. “Playtika today is a highly profitable growth company with more than 1,300 employees, multiple top grossing titles and millions of daily users. Robert is a true visionary and Israeli business leader who has created not only a great business, but also the most unique corporate culture I have seen in my career.”

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