Shares for Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. (CZR) tore upwards on Tuesday, gaining over 30 percent to as high as $17.07 after the company announced the creation of Caesar’s Growth Partners LLC. Shares closed at $15.91, up over 27 percent on the day.
On the strength of a combined $500 million investment from private equity firms Texas Pacific Group Capital and Apollo Management LP, the new venture’s purpose is, according to Caesar’s CEO Gary Loveman, “to improve the company’s balance sheet and position ourselves to make strategic investments.”
Harrah’s Entertainment took over the previous iteration of Caesar’s Entertainment in 2005. Hamlet Holdings took the company private in 2008, after which Apollo and TPG acquired Harrah’s for $30.7 billion, with the gaming company assuming $20 billion in debt. The name was officially changed back to Caesar’s in November of 2010, and the new company held its IPO in early 2012.
Caesar’s will retain the majority stake in the new project. The company had over $24 billion of debt as of the end of 2012.
Combined with contributions from shareholders, the deal could see the new company raise $1.2 billion. Caesar’s Growth Partners intends to use some of this money to purchase the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, as well as the Horseshoe Baltimore casino, currently under construction, from a Caesar’s subsidiary.
The new company will also take over operations for the Caesar’s Interactive Entertainment online business.
Summing up the transaction, Loveman said in today’s statement that it would allow the largest casino owner in the U.S. to “raise equity capital at attractive valuations without diluting stockholders of Caesars and provides Caesars additional cash liquidity without incurring new debt.”