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FTC OKs Harrah's Caesars Merger

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 8th June 2005 5:22pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday gave Harrah's Entertainment Inc. permission for its $5.2 billion acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Inc., according to two sources familiar with the deal.

An FTC spokesman said the agency would have no announcement Wednesday, but the sources, including a Harrah's official with knowledge of the transaction, confirmed federal regulatory approval had been granted.

The approval leaves Harrah's one step closer to regaining its title as the world's biggest gambling company.

Nevada gambling regulators still must sign off on the merger before Harrah's takes control of its Las Vegas-based rival.

Nevada officials are expected to decide Friday and Harrah's is set to complete the transaction on Monday. Gambling regulators in New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi and Indiana already have approved the deal.

The approval process has taken nearly a year. In July, Harrah's agreed to buy Caesars for $1.8 billion in cash and to exchange about $3.4 billion in Harrah's stock for all shares of Caesars. Harrah's also will assume about $4.2 billion in Caesars debt.

Once the merger is completed, Harrah's will own and manage more than 40 properties, including riverboats and hotel-casinos in 12 states and three countries. The combined companies will have revenue of about $8.75 billion _ nearly $2 billion more than MGM Mirage Inc., which is currently the world's largest gambling concern.

[ All systems go. - Ed ]



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