Missouri First State to Approve Eldorado-Caesars Deal
Missouri is the first of 18 states to approve the $17.3 billion sale of Caesars Entertainment to Eldorado Resorts. The Missouri Gaming Commission also approved the sale of Eldorado's Isle Casino Cape Girardeau (l.) and Lady Luck Caruthersville to Century Casinos to avoid any antitrust concerns.
The Missouri Gaming Commission recently approved the $17.3 billion sale of Caesars Entertainment to Eldorado Resorts, plus the sale of Eldorado’s Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and Lady Luck Caruthersville to Century Casinos Inc. to avoid antitrust issues. Missouri thus becomes the first of 18 states to OK the transaction that also will require Federal Trade Commission approval.
In June, Colorado Springs-based Century Casinos and real estate investment trust VICI Properties agreed to acquire the two Missouri casinos plus the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia for a combined $385 million, of which Century will pay $107 million for the operations. In a statement, Century said it expects the transaction to close by the end of the year.
Eldorado will sell Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri and Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg in Vicksburg, Mississippi for $230 million to Twin River Worldwide Holdings.
When the Caesars merger is complete, Eldorado still will operate three Missouri casinos: Lumiere Place in St. Louis, Isle of Capri in Boonville and Harrah’s North Kansas City.
Caesars and Eldorado shareholders approved the merger last month.
The terms call for Eldorado to pay $8.40 per share in cash and 0.0899 shares of Eldorado stock for each Caesars share, or $12.75 per share. The combined business will be called Caesars and its shares will be traded on the Nasdaq. The new company currently operates a total of 60 gaming properties in 18 states, including nine in Las Vegas and four in Atlantic City.
Caesars CEO Tony Rodio, in response to both companies’ pledge to reduce overall corporate costs by $500 million, said Caesars will reduce costs by $75 million to $100 million by the time the deal closes.
Also as part of the merger, three Caesars properties under the Harrah’s brand in Atlantic City, Laughlin, Nevada and New Orleans were sold to real estate investment trust VICI Properties for a total of $1.8 billion. VICI will lease the operations back to Eldorado for total annual rent of $154 million.