Operator Caesars Entertainment has hired legal firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP for advice on how to reorganise its $17.4b worth of debt.
Bloomberg reports that the operator’s largest unit – Caesars Entertainment Operating Co (CEOC) – selected the New York-based companies after taking pitches from various restructuring firms this week.
CEOC holds most of Caesars’ debt and the company hopes Kirkland & Ellis will be able to help shift its remaining lucrative assets out of CEOC and into one of the firm’s new offshoots – Caesars Growth Partners (CGP) or Caesars Acquisition Company (CAC), which has majority control of CGP, where they will be out of reach of bondholders.
Caesars has been in a fight with creditors over a round of asset sales in March that moved the Bally’s, Quad and Cromwell casino-hotels in Vegas and Harrah’s New Orleans to CAC.
Some creditors deem these asset shifts illegal and have served Caesars with a notice of default, which the operator has rejected.
Bondholders are now attempting to block Caesars’ next plan – to borrow a further $1.75b to finance further asset shifting using the firm’s Illinois gaming licence.
Caesars requires approval from Illinois regulators the Illinois Gaming Board for the funds.
Representatives of the creditors were scheduled to speak at a hearing on the matter last month but the issue has been postponed until the Illinois Gaming Board’s next meeting on the 23-24 July, when both Caesars – who have so far declined to provide comment to Bloomberg – will have to publicly dispute the matter.