In a statement filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced that he owned 10% of Caesars Entertainment Corporation.
Icahn wants to use this stake in the Las Vegas-based video game giant to exert influence in the direction of the company, which he says should lead to a new CEO and / or a sale .. Depending on the filing, he wants to be represented on the board and wants to discourage them from appointing a new CEO in the immediate future.
"We believe that our kind of activism is well suited to the situation at Caesars, which requires new thinking, new leadership and new strategies," the document adds.
The flow CEO Mark Frissora of Caesars was due to leave his position in February, but shareholders decided to extend his term until April. Icahn does not want Frissora to be at the helm any longer and plans to propose a list of candidates to replace him, if necessary.
In recent months, Icahn has created a position in the company because he believes the stock is undervalued. The founder and majority shareholder of Icahn Enterprises believes that the best way to strengthen the value of the stock is to sell it.
Icahn's plan is one of the other major investors. Tilman Fertitta, another billionaire and owner of Landry's Inc., owner of Golden Nugget LLC., would have purchased 4 million shares of Caesars after hearing about Icahn's stake.
Caesars has been approached twice by other casino operators with an offer to buy the company's assets from last year. gold nugget LLC and Eldorado Resorts Inc. have both made offers. Both were rejected by Caesars shareholders.
The market reacted positively to the announcement of Icahn's participation in Caesars. Since the announcement of the deposit Tuesday, the price of Caesars shares has increased by 5%. It has increased 42% this year but remains down 27% over the last 12 months.
Icahn has always had success in selling gaming companies. Last year he sold Tropicana Entertainment Company in Eldorado for $ 1.85 billion.
Caesars filed for bankruptcy in 2017, but has since reinstated and is now heavily indebted. The company has a debt of about $ 9.6 billion, which represents just under half of the $ 25.6 billion debt it had incurred at the time of bankruptcy. about two years old.
Any transaction by Caesars Entertainment would likely have little effect, if any, on World Series of Poker. While Caesars has the WSOP brand, it is under Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which has not been involved in the bankruptcy proceedings.