The largest casino operator in the U.S. was born on Monday. The deal fusing Eldorado Resorts (NASDAQ:ERI) and Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) has closed, the combined company announced in a press release.
The announcement is the culmination of a deal that was first reported in June 2019 and subsequently had to win a set of regulatory approvals. The arrangement was valued at roughly $17.3 billion at the time it was agreed, split between $7.2 billion in cash and 77 million shares of Eldorado stock.
In addition to effectively acquiring Caesars, Eldorado also agreed that the merged company would assume Caesars' approximately $8.8 billion in debt.
The combined company, which has taken on the better-known Caesars Entertainment name, owns and operates nearly 60 casinos around the world. Eight of these are located on the Las Vegas Strip. All told the beefed-up company is active in 16 U.S. states. It also operates properties abroad in such markets as Dubai and England.
Caesars quoted its new CEO Tom Reeg as saying that the blended company "look[s] forward to executing on the numerous opportunities ahead to create value for all stakeholders."
The Caesars buyout was the last in a string of deals made by Eldorado, once a relatively obscure company in the casino space. In May 2017, it closed on the acquisition of onetime peer Isle of Capri Casinos, and in October 2018, it completed the buyout of Tropicana Entertainment -- like Caesars, a storied name on the Las Vegas casino scene.
Although Eldorado stock should soon be delisted, it nevertheless traded up by 0.6% on Monday, lagging behind the gains of the wider equities market and numerous peer consumer goods stocks. Shares of Caesars dipped by 0.4%.