By Ken Ritter
The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. informed regulators on Aug. 9 that it is selling its property in Macau to an Asian developer for $438 million.
The Las Vegas-based company reported in a quarterly filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had agreed Tuesday to sell the golf course property to Pearl Dynasty Investments Ltd.
The publicly traded company said the sale is expected to close by the end of the year, and it intends to use the proceeds to pay down debt. Company stock ended the trading day Friday at $18.36, up 75 cents or 4.26 percent.
Caesars Entertainment spokesman Gary Thompson said a confidentiality clause in the sale agreement precluded the company from comment beyond its disclosures in the 10-Q report.
The report says the agreement called for initial deposits this week of $65.7 million by Pearl Dynasty, with plans to complete the transaction within 90 days. Caesars Entertainment could keep $43.8 million if the deal fails.
Caesars is the largest casino operator in the U.S., with properties in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, N.J., Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and several other states. It is the only major U.S. casino company without a casino in Macau.
Rival companies MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. have Macau properties in the Chinese gambling enclave about a one-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong.
Corporate predecessor Harrah’s Entertainment bought the 175-acre site in 2007 for $578 million, with plans to develop a hotel and casino. The name of the property was changed to Caesars Golf in 2010, after the corporate name change.
However, the company didn’t apply in the early 2000s for one of a finite number of gambling licenses in Macau, and it never gained a gambling concession from the Macau government
Caesars Entertainment said in a SEC filing last month that it plans to raise $1.2 billion by selling stock in the company.
It is also in the process of setting up an online gambling site for players in Nevada and is taking steps to spin off its online gambling venture into a separate company. (end)