Caesars Could Be Acquired Through Icahn & Fertitta Partnership
Tilman Fertitta, the billionaire who owns the Houston Rockets (NBA team) and the Golden Nugget Casino tried to buy Caesars Entertainment in 2018 but his offer was rejected. However, he seems to be in the process of coming up with another offer. This time around he could get some extra help as he could team up with Carl Icahn, who is a majority shareholder in Caesars.
In November 2018, Fertitta offered to merge his Golden Nugget casino with Caesars Entertainment but his offer was turned down. Fertitta decided to see if he could team up with another partner to make a better offer and it looks like he could have found the right partner in Icahn.
This time around there is a big change in the equation because it could be easier for the acquisition to push through, given the fact that Icahn is a majority shareholder in the company. Icahn has been on a spending spree and he now has 28.5 percent stake in Caesars. This includes any swaps involved.
This means that Icahn is positioned to control four of the eight board seats in the company and could sway a decision in favor of Fertitta.
Icahn will not be selling his shares in Caesars since he wants tight control of the company as he tries to whip it into shape. The result is that anyone hoping to buy control of Caesars will only need 71.5 percent of the company shares. That’s a lot more affordable than going after 100 percent of the company’s shares. Current share prices for Caesars is around $8.37, which brings the company’s value to around $5.6 billion.
That price tag is well within Fertitta’s means. He runs all five of the Golden Nugget casinos across the country and this gives him a large war chest. According to Forbes, he is worth $4.8 billion and could finally succeed in his attempt to acquire Caesars Entertainment.
Eldorado Could Also Make Offer
Eldorado Resorts, the current owners of Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino is also interested in acquiring Caesars and reports suggest that Eldorado has already received data from Caesars that will help it decide over whether they should make an offer or not.
However, things are more in favor of Fertitta than Eldorado right now as Icahn is looking for a partner who is an experienced casino manager. He believes Caesars Entertainment is too bloated and needs to cut down signifincatly on expenses. He is looking for a partner who can implement corporate discipline and help Caesars Entertainment move in the right direction.