(Bloomberg) – Eldorado Resorts Inc. agreed to buy Caesars Entertainment Corp. for about $ 8.7 billion In cash and shares, according to someone familiar with the situation.
The deal values Caesars at around $ 13 per. Share, according to the person who asked not to be identified because the information is not public. Including assumed Caesar's debt, the transaction will be valued at about $ 18 billion. The combined entity will be split almost equally between the shareholders of both companies, the person said, adding that the deal will be announced Monday.
The prize represents a 30% prize for Caesars close on Friday. Eldorado had a market value of about $ 4 billion from Friday.
Caesars was pushed by activist billionaire Carl Icahn, its largest shareholder according to data prepared by Bloomberg, to consider a sale. Earlier discussions had focused on an agreement that would have valued emperors at $ 11 per share. A person familiar with these negotiations had said.
The Eldorado shares have risen 17% over the past year compared to a 12% fall in Caesars. The S&P Supercomposite Casino & Gaming Index, which follows the results of nine shares, including the two companies, fell by 20%.
Caesar's shares are trading with 24 times reported earnings, while Eldorado is valued at 33 times according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Eldorado and Caesar officials declined to comment on the report. Reuters reported earlier the acquisition plan.
Eldorado was not Caesar's only suitor. Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta proposed to merge his restaurant and casino empire with emperors last year, but was rejected by emperors.
Caesars, whose features include the flagship Caesars Palace and Harrah's chain, still handle the fall of a 2008 geared buyout led by Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG, which left it with a mountain of debt. The company closed a bankruptcy for its largest unit two years ago, which brought in new board members and shareholders, including distressed investors. Apollo and TPG have sold their shares.
Eldorado, dating back to a single casino opened in Reno, Nevada, in 1973, has grown exponentially in recent years under the direction of Tom Reeg, now Managing Director. In recent years, the company acquired MTR Gaming Group Inc. and Isle of Capri Casinos, and last year added Tropicana Entertainment Inc., which was controlled by Icahn.
The company, which still counts the founding Carano family as the largest shareholder, now has 26 casinos in 12 states.
(Updates with valuation in the sixth paragraph.)
– With the help of Hailey Waller.
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