Caesars Entertainment

LAS VEGAS -- Eldorado Resorts is buying Caesars in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $17.3 billion, creating a casino giant.

The deal Monday puts about 60 casinos and resorts in 16 states under a single name.

Eldorado will pay $8.40 per share in cash and 0.0899 shares of Eldorado stock for each Caesars share, or $12.75 per share.

The combined business will be called Caesars and its shares will be traded on the Nasdaq stock market.

Shareholders of Eldorado Resorts Inc. will hold about 51 percent of the company's outstanding stock, with Caesars Entertainment Inc. shareholders holding the remaining and 49 percent.

Eldorado chairman Gary Carano, CEO Tom Reeg and chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief learning officer will lead the combined company, according to a news release. The company will be headquartered in Reno, with significant corporate presence to remain in Las Vegas. The combined company's board of directors will consist of six members from Eldorado's board and five from Caesars' board.

“This announcement is the culmination of a thorough evaluation by the Caesars Board of Directors," Caesars chairman Jim Hunt said in the release. "The Board unanimously concluded that the combination of these two companies creating an even stronger entity is a decision for our shareholders’ consideration and vote for immediate and ongoing value.”

"Eldorado’s combination with Caesars will create the largest owner and operator of U.S. gaming assets and is a strategically, financially and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate and long-term value to stakeholders of both companies," Reeg said in the release. "Together, we will have an extremely powerful suite of iconic gaming and entertainment brands, as well as valuable strategic alliances with industry leaders in sports betting and online gaming. The combined entity will serve customers in essentially every major U.S. gaming market and will marry best-of-breed practices from both entities to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and significant shareholder returns."

The deal is targeted to close in the first half of next year if approved by gaming regulators and shareholders.

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