Caesars Unit Completes Spin-Off of Real Estate Business

The new VICI Properties entity debuts as an “experiential-asset focused” REIT and one of the nation’s largest owners of gaming, hospitality and entertainment destinations.

They came, they saw, they closed the deal.

Edward Pitoniak, VICI Properties CEO
Edward Pitoniak, VICI Properties CEO

VICI Properties Inc. has completed its spin-off from Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc., a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp., and in the process has become an “experiential-asset focused” REIT and one of the nation’s largest owners of gaming, hospitality and entertainment destinations, the parties announced.

VICI Properties’ portfolio comprises 19 major gaming facilities, including Caesars Palace Las Vegas, and a subsidiary that owns four championship golf courses. VICI’s properties are leased to Caesars and operate under such brands as Caesars, Horseshoe, Harrah’s and Bally’s. They total about 32.5 million square feet of space and feature 12,000 hotel guestrooms and more than 150 restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

These properties, according to VICI, are exceptionally well-maintained, having undergone about $433 million in capital investments over the past three years.

VICI (pronounced “VEE-chee”) derives its name from Julius Caesar’s famed message back to Rome following a major military victory: “Veni, vidi, vici.” (“I came, I saw, I conquered.”)

The company’s CEO is Edward Pitoniak, who is also a member of its board. John Payne is VICI’s president & COO, and Mary Beth Higgins its CFO.

A strong brand

VICI Properties debuts as the premier owner of best-in-class gaming, hospitality and entertainment destinations and we aim to quickly become America’s most dynamic leisure and hospitality focused REIT,” Pitoniak said in a prepared statement. “We have in Caesars Entertainment Corp. the best national gaming brand and operator in America, with an unrivaled loyalty program in Total Rewards.”

The VICI Properties board is chaired by Jim Abrahamson, current chairman of Interstate Hotels and Resorts and a veteran of such hotel companies as Hilton, Hyatt and IHG. The board’s other members have ties to companies including Planet Hollywood, Delta Airlines, Winstar Cruise Line, Isle of Capri Casinos, National Retail Properties Inc. and Everi Holdings Inc.

On a pro forma basis, VICI reportedly would have had revenue of $762.6 million, adjusted EBITDA of $639.7 million and net income of $433.9 million for the year that ended Dec. 31, 2016.

The company’s spinoff from CEOC follows the latter’s successful emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. CEOC had filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2015.

Image courtesy of VICI Properties