Caesars sells Emerald stake to focus on strategic markets

By Matthew Enderby

Caesars Entertainment announced the sale of its 70% stake in South African property Emerald Resort and Casino to Peermont Hotels.

The deal is worth $49m and will see Caesars continue to operate the property until the third quarter of the year, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment said: “While Emerald Resort & Casino is a unique property, it receives limited benefit from the Caesars' Rewards network effect given its remoteness to other properties in our network.

“We're pleased to monetise this non-core asset in our portfolio, which will enable Caesars to sharpen its focus on other strategic markets."

This announcement follows the direction set by Caesars’ majority stake holder, Carl Icahn.

After the operator added three senior Icahn Group executives to its board in March, Icahn re-emphasised his opinion that an M & A strategy is best suited to the business.

At the time of those appointments he said: “I believe the best path forward for Caesars requires a thorough strategic process to sell or merge the company to further develop its already-strong regional presence, which will allow Caesars to continue to take advantage of the Caesars Rewards program bringing more and more players into Caesars' Vegas market.

"I expect this to make Caesars the most powerful competitor in Vegas, the gaming capital of the world."

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