FILE PHOTO: Carl Icahn, militant and billionaire investor, gives an interview on Neil Cavuto's FOX Business Network show in New York, USA, on February 11, 2014. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid / File Photo
(Reuters) – Activist investor Carl Icahn on Tuesday called Caesars Entertainment Corp. to sell, after revealing a 9.78% stake in the US casino operator.
"The board should conduct a strategic process to comprehensively assess the best way forward for Caesars and believe that shareholder value could be better served and improved by selling the company," Icahn said in a regulatory filing. (Bit.ly/2SJvpev)
The Icahn campaign for the sale of the company comes after Caesars rejected last year a merger approach of Tilman Fertitta, the billionaire owner of the Golden Nugget Casinos.
Caesars, including the Harrah's and Horseshoe brands, went out of business in 2017 after failing to borrow $ 25 billion.
Its long-term debt amounted to approximately $ 8.81 billion as at September 30, 2018.
Icahn indicated that it wishes to be represented on the Caesars Board of Directors, including, if necessary, appoint a list of directors at the company's annual meeting in 2019.
"We believe that our kind of activism is well suited to the situation at Caesars, which requires new thinking, new leadership and new strategies," Icahn said.
Caesars shares rose nearly 5% to $ 9.59. Until Friday's close, the stock had risen 14.5 percent since Jan. 11, when information was reported that Icahn would build a stake in the company.
Report by Ankit Ajmera to Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel