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Casino

Tilman Fertitta eyes Las Vegas Strip casinos after Caesars sale

Thursday 27 de June 2019 / 04:04

2 minutos de lectura

(Las Vegas).- Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta is looking to purchase casino property on the Las Vegas Strip that could be spun off from Eldorado Resorts’ acquisition of gaming giant Caesars Entertainment.

Tilman Fertitta eyes Las Vegas Strip casinos after Caesars sale

Eldorado, headquartered in Reno, Nev., is expected to sell some of Caesars’ nine Las Vegas Strip properties and other casinos around the country to avoid federal antitrust issues. On the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars owns and operates Bally’s, Caesars Palace, Cromwell, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Linq Hotel and Promenade, Paris, Planet Hollywood and nearby Rio.


“100 percent, I’m interested,” Fertitta said Tuesday. “I’ll try to pick off one or two properties.”


Should Fertitta strike a deal on the Las Vegas Strip, the hospitality mogul, star of CNBC’s “Billion Dollar Buyer” and owner of the Houston Rockets would expand and elevate his brand in the nation’s top tourism city, which boasts more than 145,750 hotel rooms and 42 million visitors a year. Fertitta’s empire spans restaurants, hotels, amusement parks and five Golden Nugget casinos, including one in Lake Charles, La.


Fertitta owns a Golden Nugget casino in downtown Las Vegas that earns $100 million a year before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. But he does not have a casino on the iconic Las Vegas Strip where most of the city’s tourists and conventioneers stay and play. He owns several restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip, including Morton’s and Mastro’s steakhouses, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Rainforest Cafe.


You go where the people are,” Fertitta said. “If you go where the people are, you’ll usually be successful.”


Likely targets


Eldorado Chief Executive Thomas Reeg on Monday acknowledged there are casinos it will have to "prune" as the Reno, Nev.-based company merges with Caesars. The combined company, which will be called Caesars and led by Reeg out of Reno, will conduct an analysis to determine which, if any, casinos it will sell on the Las Vegas Strip.


“As I sit here today, there is more Strip exposure than we need,Reeg told Wall Street analysts in a conference call Monday. “I would expect we would be a seller of Strip assets, but that decision has not been made.”


Howard Stutz, executive editor of Las Vegas trade publication CDC Gaming, on Tuesday said he thinks the Cromwell, Planet Hollywood and the Rio will be “potential sales targets” that Caesars may offload.


Fertitta would likely face competition for Caesars properties. Other interested buyers include Phil Ruffin, owner of the Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas and Boyd Gaming Corp, also of Las Vegas, according to Stutz.


Fertitta on Tuesday said he was not disappointed that Eldorado ended up buying Caesars, one of the best known brands in gaming with more than 50 casino and hotel properties. Fertitta, who has built a reputation as a shrewd dealmaker, said he could have outbid Eldorado, but decided he was not willing to pay Caesars’ asking price.


Eldorado is paying $8.6 billion, or $12.75 per share in cash and stock, to acquire Caesars in a deal backed by activist investor Carl Icahn, who acquired a 28.5 percent ownership stake in Caesars and pushed for its sale. The deal, including debt, is worth approximately $17.3 billion.


It would have been a huge transaction and I did not feel comfortable with the deal as it was done, mainly the cash portion of the deal,” Fertitta said. “You have no idea how many deals I was this close to (signing), and somebody just outbid me for it because I’ve learned you have to be a disciplined buyer.”


Despite losing his bid for Caesars, Fertitta still came out a winner. During his eight-month pursuit of Caesars, Fertitta — who has an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion — purchased 4.5 million shares in the gaming giant.

Categoría:Casino

Tags: Caesars Entertainment, casinos,

País: United States

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