Soon enough our anticipation over the sale of Caesars Entertainment will be appeased. Billionaire Tilman Ferlitta of the Golden Nugget could be the big winner in the bidding.
News of the official sale is forthcoming perhaps within a week. Carl Icahn wants to move the process along for the casino operator. The company is valued at $5.6 billion despite its $18 billion of debt.
Certainly his vote counts as he is the largest shareholder at 28.5%. He placed three representations on the board who are in favor of a merger or sale.
“I believe the best path forward for Caesars requires a thorough strategic process to sell or merge the company to further develop its already strong regional presence.”
Last fall, Fertitta of Landry’s hospitality, entertainment and gaming conglomerate (and owner of the Houston Rockets) made a reverse takeover bid for Caesars.
At the time, the proposed share price for Caesars was $13. This was a premium at a stock hovering around $9. The Caesar’s portfolio would take on the five Golden Nugget casinos. Fertitta would become CEO of the new group.
Caesars reacted with a resounding “no.” the plan did not coincide with the resorts vision. Nonetheless, Fertitta purchased four million shares. He has gained access to Caesar’s financial records along with another interested party, Eldorado Resorts.
So what do Wall Street gurus have to say about a possible takeover? Investors have answered by boosting the stock more than 2.5% on NASDAQ today, up 37%. This should make up for recent twelve-month losses when the stock plunged from $11/share to $9.30.
Mark Frissora remains CEO of Caesars but had announced his resignation. He wanted to see the company through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A successor will be identified and a candidate search is underway, including Anthony Rodio, Affinity Gaming CEO.