UPDATE: Eldorado buys Caesars in $17.3 billion deal

Caesars Windsor aerial photo. (Photo courtesy of onlinegambling.ca)

U.S.- based Eldorado Resorts Inc. has confirmed it will merge with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which operates Caesars Windsor.

In a press release issued Monday morning, Eldorado said will acquire all outstanding shares of Caesars for a total value of $12.75 per share and will assume Caesars outstanding net debt. Caesars shareholders will be offered “a consideration election mechanism that is subject to proration pursuant to the definitive merger agreement.”

The total value of the merger is $17.3 billion.

Eldorado’s shareholders will hold approximately 51 per cent of the combined company’s outstanding shares, and Caesars shareholders will hold 49 per cent.

Once the transaction is complete, the new company will keep the Caesars name to capitalize on the global brand.

Eldorado rationalized the merger by saying the new company will have an “unrivalled domestic footprint of 60 owned, operated, and managed casino-resorts in 16 states.”

Ceasars Chair, Jim Hunt said, “The announcement is the culmination of a thorough evaluation by the Caesars Board of Directors. The board unanimously concluded that the combination of these two companies creating an even stronger entity is a decision for our shareholders’ consideration and vote for immediate ongoing value.”

“Eldorado’s combination with Caesars will create the largest owner and operator of U.S. gaming assets and is a strategically, financially, and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate and long-term value to stakeholders of both companies,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Eldorado.

Tony Bitonti, a spokesman with Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG), the Crown corporation that owns Caesars Windsor on behalf of the province, said casino operations are not expected to change.

“The change in ownership of the parent company related to Caesars Entertainment Windsor Limited does not affect the day-to-day operations of that gaming site, nor OLG’s returns to the province,” said Bitonti in an email to BlackburnNewsWindsor.com. “It remains business as usual at Caesars Windsor as it continues to deliver gaming excellence, world-class hospitality and superior customer service.”

Similar sentiments were provided by Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444, which represents casino employees.

“There is a collective agreement in place, and nothing changes for the workers,” said Cassidy in a statement posted on the union’s Facebook page. “Everybody knows OLG owns the property and Caesars manages it, so as far as we are concerned in talking to the company, it is business as usual.”

BlackburnNews.com has reached out to officials at Caesars Windsor to find out the local implications of the merger.