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CAESARS TO SPIN OFF INTERACTIVE ARM
2013-04-25

Move to be executed through new Caesars Growth Partners

The debt-burdened Las Vegas land gambling giant Caesars Entertainment (which reportedly has debts exceeding $24 billion) is to spin off its successful online division, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, to a new and separate company titled Caesars Growth Partners, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The $2.3 billion new company, which will be helmed by CIE chief executive Mitch Garbers, will include Caesars Interactive along with Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas and the Horseshoe Baltimore casino, a 40 percent-owned construction project which Caesars is building in partnership with Rock Gaming.

Between 23 percent and 43 percent of the new corporate will be sold to Caesars' current owners.

Funding for the new company amounting to $500 million is to come from investment houses Apollo Global and TPG Capital.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the move is designed to better manage a heavy debt burden, and commented that some analysts are concerned that the gambling giant may be "underselling" some of its assets.

Caesars' owners Apollo Management and TPG Capital will pay about $250 million each for their portion of the assets, while existing stockholders can contribute up to an additional $700 million.

In a complicated structure, the new ownership of Growth Partners will be held by a holding company called Caesars Acquisition Company that is likely to be traded publicly, the Journal reports.

A Caesars spokesman said Tuesday that Caesars Growth Partners helps raise capital without diluting the value of the owners' shares, and enables the raising of capital without carrying the penalty of Caesars' significant debt.

"The transaction is an important step in our continuing efforts to improve the company's balance sheet and position ourselves to make strategic investments," Caesars chief executive Gary Loveman said in a statement.

Investors appeared to like the initiative, driving the share price up 27 percent,to close at $15.90.

According to analysts, the deal appears to value Caesars Internet business between $400 million and $650 million.