Caesars to buy two casinos in Indiana for $1.7bn

By Robert Simmons
Global casino and hotel developer Caesars Entertainment Corporation is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to buy two casino properties in the US state of Indiana from Centaur Holdings, at a combined estimated cost of $1.7bn.

According to reports from Bloomberg, the casinos being considered are Hoosier Park casino in Anderson and the Indiana Grand casino in Shelbyville. The casinos which include horse racing tracks generated over $480m in combined casino revenue during the last financial year alone.

Caesars already owns two casinos in Indiana: the Horseshoe Hammond Casino on Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana and the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel and Casino, located along the Ohio River in Harrison County. Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand feature over 2,000 slots and electronic table games, multiple dining outlets, and both live and simulcast horse racing.

The deal represents a significant profit for Centaur, which originally owned the Hoosier Park property and bought the Indiana Grand for $500m in 2013. However any deal would need approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) before it could effectively be ratified.

Under Indiana gaming law, one company cannot own more than two casinos in the state, however IGC Deputy Director Jennifer Reske told the Indiana Business Journal that this would not apply to the racetrack based casinos, which are currently authorised under a different component of state gaming law.

In a statement announcing the acquisition Caesars Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Frissora said: "The addition of Centaur is the first example of our post-emergence, inorganic growth strategy. The acquisition of Centaur represents an excellent opportunity to enter into a growing region.”

Frissora added: "We are impressed with Centaur's operations and culture, and the strong presence it has built in its host communities. Together, we will build on our respective value creation and execution achievements for the benefit of customers, employees and local partners."

"We believe the acquisition of Centaur is the best use of capital to support our growth plans and the long-term value of Caesars Entertainment. Our network expansion plan is off to a great start with this strategic transaction and we continue to have a strong financial position with solid cash flows to pursue other expansion opportunities with attractive returns."

Subject to regulatory approval from the IGC, the sale transaction should complete in the first half of 2018.


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