Nevada Regulators OK Caesars Sale

Gaming regulators in the Silver State have approved Caesars Entertainment’s plan to sell off four of its casino properties—including Bally’s Las Vegas (l.)—to a company-owned subsidiary. The deal frees $1.8 billion in cash to help the parent company pay off a record-setting level of long-term debt.

Division of assets will be “transparent”

Nevada gaming regulators have OK’d Caesars Entertainment’s plan to sell four of its resorts to the company’s Caesars Growth Partners affiliate for $2.2 billion. The transfer was crafted to help the world’s largest casino operator expand its holdings while chipping away at $23 billion in long-term debt.

Caesars Entertainment will manage the resorts, including Bally’s, the Quad and the Cromwell in Las Vegas, as well as Harrah’s New Orleans.

Under the complex arrangement, Caesars Growth Partners will assume $185 million in debt associated with the Cromwell, once Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, and spend $223 million to finish the Quad, formerly the Imperial Palace.

The Quad “completely transforms that property, which is at the 50-yard-line of the Strip,” said Craig Abrahams, chief operating officer of Nasdaq-traded Caesars Acquisition Co., which manages Caesars Growth Partners. “It will not resemble past memories.”

Caesars Growth Partners already owns Planet Hollywood, the Octavius hotel tower at Caesars Palace and the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which will open in the fall. The company also owns Caesars’ interactive gaming business and the World Series of Poker. The transaction will mean $1.8 billion in additional cash flow for the company and allow Caesars to transfer a portion of the company’s overall debt to an affiliate.

Caesars Entertainment Senior Vice President Eric Hession told regulators the transaction will be “transparent to customers.”

The three-member Gaming Control Board approved the transaction during a one-hour meeting. “This will allow the company to move forward and take care of some its liquidity issues,” said Control Board member Shawn Reid.