$17B Cash Purchase of Harrah’s Wraps Up

The biggest casino buyout ever is now a done deal. Over a year in the works, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.’s acquisition by private investment firms Apollo Management L.P. and TPG Capital L.P. has finally reached completion, bringing to a close a buyout valued at $27.8 billion. With the conclusion of the transaction, in which the buyers shelled out $17.1 billion in cash and assumed $10.7 billion in debt, Harrah’s becomes a private company. The deal leaves Harrah’s stockholders with $90 per share of common stock. Issued and outstanding shares of non-voting stock now come under the domain of affiliates of Apollo and TPG, leaving voting stock under the ownership of Hamlet Holdings L.L.C., a vehicle controlled by affiliates of Apollo and TPG. Apollo and TPG originally proposed buying Harrah’s for $81 per share in September 2006, but later upped the offer by $9, paving the way for a definitive agreement in December of 2006. Harrah’s has since spent a great deal of time jumping through hoops to secure the appropriate regulatory approvals. In November and December of last year, the company received the go-ahead from the Indiana Gaming Commission, the Illinois Gaming Board, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission. Established in 1937, Harrah’s portfolio of owned and managed casinos spans four continents with the majority of the properties carrying the Harrah’s, Caesars and Horseshoe Flags. The company’s assets also include the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah’s stock, which opened today at $89.97, will no longer trade as of the close of the business day.