he billionaire owner of Golden Nugget Casinos floated the deal, which would come in the form of a reverse merger, to Caesars’ board last week but still awaits a response, New York Post reports.
Sources said Caesars, with a market cap of $6.8 billion, could reject the offer from Fertitta, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $4.5 billion.
After Reuters broke the story a possible tie-up on Wednesday, Caesars’ stock rose 12.2 percent to close at $10.20 per share.
Caesars, the world’s fourth-largest gaming company, emerged from bankruptcy last year — only to see its stock fall nearly 20 percent in the year to date.
Reuters said the Las Vegas-based operator of more than 50 casinos and hotels was considering other deals, including one with Jack Entertainment, before news of Fertitta’s offer surfaced.
Separate sources confirmed to The Post outlines of the proposal as presented by Reuters.
Under the deal, Fertitta’s privately owned hospitality company Landry’s — which in addition to Golden Nugget owns Morton’s The Steakhouse, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Rainforest Cafe and a host of other properties — would exchange its private shares for stock in Caesars.
As it’s a reverse merger, Caesars would technically be the acquirer — yet the stock exchange would leave Fertitta the combined company’s largest shareholder. As such, Fertitta would become chairman and chief executive.
Caesars shareholders, including private equity firms Apollo Global Management and TPG Global, would then have smaller stakes in a larger company.
Mark Frissora, Caesars’ president and CEO since 2015, is under contract until February 2019.
Apollo and TPG, as well as activist hedge fund HG Vora Capital, have been been receptive to a sale since Caesars gave a weak outlook while reporting second-quarter results on Aug. 1.