Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

It's Official: Harrah's Sold

Deal Includes Investment Firms Taking on $10.8 Billion in Debt


Speculation turned into affirmation as Harrah's today announced that it entered into an agreement to be bought by Apollo Management Group and Texas Pacific Group (TPG) in an all-cash transaction worth $17.1 billion. The groups will also assume $10.7 billion in Harrah's debt.

Harrah's board of directors, on the recommendation of a special committee made up of nonmanagerial directors, approved the deal today. The agreement has the two groups purchasing all the outstanding shares for $90 each. This represents a 36 percent increase in the stock price that was listed on Sept. 29, the day before the offer by Apollo and TPG became public.

Under the agreement, Harrah's is allowed to solicit offers from other corporations for the next 25 days. If there are no better offers, the deal will go through and the transaction is expected to be completed in about one year. The deal is subject to stock holder and regulatory approvals.

Harrah's is the largest casino owner and operator in the world. It owns or manages 39 casinos on four different continents under a litany of brands, including Caesars, Harrah's, Horeshoe, and London Club International.

Poker fans know that Harrah's bought Binion's Horseshoe in 2004 to basically purchase the World Series of Poker brand name. It sold Binion's later that year, but kept the WSOP. The WSOP has moved from Binion's to the Rio, and each year since, has attracted record numbers of players to Harrah's properties. Earlier this year, Harrah's would not comment on how much profit the WSOP generated for Harrah's.

While Harrah's has been around for 70 years, Apollo Management was founded in 1990 as an investor in private equity, debt, and capital markets. Since its inception, it has invested more than $16 billion in companies.

TPG is even younger. Founded in 1992, the private investment partnership currently manages more than $30 billion in assets.



over 15 years ago

From what I understand, the thought is that TPG and Apollo are going to divy up portions of the Harrah's empire and possibly sell it off to other Casino corporations. Rio could possibly be one of the first because it falls outside the core brands of Harrah's. There's also the factor of various state gaming boards and commissions having to screen the new owners coming in.