Caesars Entertainment Corporation, formerly known as Harrah’s Entertainment, is one of the world’s largest gaming companies. Based in Nevada, Caesars Entertainment owns and operates over 50 casinos and hotels as well as seven golf courses under several brands.
Change of Ownership
Founded by William Fisk Harrah in 1937, Harrah’s Entertainment operated as a public company for decades before being taken private in a $30.7 billion buyout in 2008 by private equity firms TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management. The deal, made just before the financial crisis, left the company highly leveraged with around $24 billion in debt.
In 2019, Eldorado Resorts announced plans to acquire Caesars Entertainment in a cash and stock deal worth $17.3 billion. The merger created one of the largest gaming companies in the U.S. The combined company took on the Caesars Entertainment name and is currently headed by CEO Tom Reeg, formerly the head of Eldorado.
Currently, the largest shareholders of Caesars Entertainment Corp are capital groups TPG, Apollo Global Management, and GIC Private Limited.
TPG, the private equity firm that initially took Caesars private in 2008, remains a top shareholder today with around 16.5% of outstanding shares.
Fellow private equity firm and 2008 buyout partner Apollo Global Management owns around 16% of Caesars.
GIC Private Limited, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, is another of the company’s largest shareholders with about 10% of its stock.
The majority of remaining shares are widely held among institutional and retail investors.
Following the 2019 Eldorado-Caesars merger, the company has undergone significant restructuring to manage costs and debt. Measures have included selling some properties, streamlining operations, and reducing redundant corporate positions.
In 2020-2021, the company sold several casinos in Louisiana, Nevada, and overseas to help pay down debt. Properties divested included Harrah’s Reno Hotel & Casino and Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.
Caesars also continues consolidating its loyalty programs and implementing standardized systems across properties to improve efficiency.
While work is still ongoing, these efforts have put Caesars in an improved financial position with reduced leverage compared to the years following its 2008 buyout.
When did Caesars Entertainment go private?
Caesars Entertainment went private in 2008 after being acquired by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital for $30.7 billion. Before that, it had operated as a public company under the name Harrah’s Entertainment since its founding in 1937.
Who were the original owners of Caesars Entertainment?
The founder and owner of Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment) was William Fisk Harrah. He built the company from a small bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada in 1937 into one of the leading names in the gambling industry over the next several decades.
What is GIC Private Limited?
GIC Private Limited is Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, which manages the country’s foreign reserves. With over $100 billion in assets, GIC invests in equities, fixed income, real estate, private equity, and other asset classes globally. As one of the largest shareholders in Caesars Entertainment, GIC owns around 10% of the company’s outstanding shares.
Does Apollo Global Management still own part of Caesars?
Yes, private equity firm Apollo Global Management remains one of the largest shareholders in Caesars Entertainment today. Apollo acquired Caesars along with TPG Capital in a $30.7 billion leveraged buyout deal in 2008. Currently, Apollo holds around 16% of Caesar’s outstanding common stock.
How many casinos does Caesars Entertainment own?
Caesars Entertainment owns and operates over 50 casinos and hotels worldwide. Major Caesars-owned brands include Caesars, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, and Bally’s. The company also owns the World Series of Poker tournament series and is affiliated with over a dozen golf courses.
In summary, Caesars Entertainment operates as one of the largest gaming hospitality providers globally. Now owned jointly by private equity firms and other institutional investors, the company continues working to manage debt and streamline operations after its leveraged buyouts of the last fifteen years. Despite ongoing restructuring, Caesars remains well-positioned to offer guests premium casino-resort experiences.