The $8.5 billion deal to merge Caesars Entertainment with rival Eldorado Resorts, was falling apart until real estate investor John Payne entered in the picture.
A little known real estate investor helped earn Carl Icahn an estimated half-billion dollars.
It was the end of the May, Eldorado just bid about $10.50 a share to buy the owner of Harrah’s, and Bally’s an offer that Caesars’ board and Icahn, who owns a 28.5% Caesars’ stake including swaps, denied.
Payne President and COO of Vici Properties walked in. The real estate believes that invests in casino and golf course properties — with a complicated plan that gave Eldorado $3.2 billion money to use towards the $8.5 billion deal. That gave Eldorado’s conservative CEO-Tom Reeg, the confidence to raise his bid, sources said.
“I don’t assume this could occur without Vici,” a source close to the deal told The Post.
On Monday, Eldorado mentioned it would pay $12.75 per share for a 51% stake in Caesars.
The money and stock deal values Caesars at $17.3 billion, including the idea of its debt. The deal is expected to close next year. The hedge fund manager paid about $900 million for his 15.6% stake starting in December.
Vici’s $3.2 billion buys land related to three of Caesars’ Harrah’s locations, in New Orleans; Laughlin, Nev.; and Atlantic City. Vici, which already owns a lot of Caesars properties, will also be increasing the rent charges Caesars for two Las Vegas estates in exchange of $1.4 billion of the $3.2 billion purchase value. Additionally, all present Caesars leases will be prolonged, and Vici will get precise of first refusal to buy actual estate associated with sure Caesars properties.
Vici will lease its Caesars properties to Eldorado, which will have 60 properties, compared to now second-place rival Penn National, which has 39.