Caesars Non Focus On Asian Markets To Affect Growth
Analysts from Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd say that gambling giant Caesars Entertainment Corp will not grow as fast as some of its competitors because it has preferred to focus on the US gaming market and not expand into the lucrative Asian gaming market.
Though there are three new directors to its board, thanks to billionaire Carl Icahn, the limitations of Caesars operations would make it difficult for the company to enter the Asian market..
Carl Icahn who now owns 9.8 percent of the company’s shares is taking on a bigger role in dictating what the company does going forward. The noted hedge fund activist has been clamoring for a number of changes including getting new blood on the board of directors. Caesars obliged and brought on 3 new directors as Icahn’s behest.
In a statement, Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu, and Eunice Lee, analysts from Sanford Bernstein said
Our fundamental view of the company remains unchanged – we believe Caesars’ long-term value is limited by execution overhang and limited organic growth. Caesars is a U.S.-focused operator with no Asia exposure. We believe its potential foray into South Korea is of limited value and its U.S. business will experience limited organic top-line growth.
Caesars venture into South Korea involves developing a 700-million casino resort near the Incheon International Airport. The planned date for its opening is some time in 2021 and will be only open to foreigners as per gaming laws in the country.
Apart from South Korea, Caesars would also like to tap into the Japanese gaming market and has plans to bid for a casino license and tie up with a local partner. However, there is a lot of competition for these casino licenses and there is no assurance that Caesars will get one.
Merger and Future Plans
Carl Icahn has publicly stated that he thinks that Caesars should sell off or merge with another company so that it would become a lot stronger and provide better returns to its investors. Merger rumors have been floating around for months now. MGM Resorts International, Golden Nugget LLC, and Eldorado Resorts Inc. have all been reported to have an interest in acquiring Caesars.
The closest that Caesars has been to a merger recently was when the privately-held Golden Nugget LLC made a bid for a reverse merger. It would have resulted in Caesars absorbing Golden Nugget properties and its owner Tilman Fertitta becoming Caesars Entertainment’s CEO. The offer was rejected by Caesars.