A Nevada company that started in 1973 with a single hotel-casino in Reno announced Monday it has completed a $17.3 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment Corp. and will take the iconic company’s name going forward as the largest casino owner in the world.
Eldorado Resorts Inc. ERI, +0.63% said the combined company will now own and operate more than 55 casino properties in 16 U.S. states, including eight resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.
“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger,” Tom Reeg, former CEO of Eldorado Resorts and now CEO of Caesars Entertainment Inc. CZR, -0.40% said in a statement.
Reeg promised to welcome the combined company’s tens of thousands of employees and to create value for stakeholders using “strategic initiatives that will position the company for continued growth.”
The buyout also affects Caesars properties in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Canada, Dubai and a golf course in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. The company vaulted over MGM Resorts International MGM, -2.85% as the world’s largest casino operation.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will be the largest single shareholder, with more than 10% of the combined company, Reeg told New Jersey regulators. Icahn acquired a large block of Caesars shares after that company emerged from bankruptcy protection in late 2017 and pushed for the sale.
Eldorado founder Don Carano and his family developed a winemaking and casino empire that grew into 26 gambling properties and more than 18,000 employees in 12 states before the buyout. Carano died in 2017. Several family members remain in company executive ranks.
Caesars Entertainment had some 65,000 employees before casino closures in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, including 30,000 in Nevada. Most of its properties have reopened.
The merger also involves properties in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Macquarie Capital served as financial advisers for the deal.