The confirmed departure of Mark Frissora as President & Chief Executive of Caesars Entertainment has triggered fresh rumours regarding the future of the legacy US casino operator.
This morning, the New York Post reported that the governance of MGM Resorts had hired Morgan Stanley and law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges to act as corporate advisors, examining a potential $20 billion merger.
‘Everyone knows that without Frissora, Caesars is in play’ details a source to The Post.
An MGM-Caesars merger would certainly please Caesars Entertainment’s long-suffering debt holders who have stuck with the company through its 2-year Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructure (2015-2017).
Nevertheless, an MGM-Caesars tie-up would face extreme competition scrutiny from the US Federal Trade Commission, as the merged entity would operate more than half the casino and entertainment properties of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Furthermore, an MGM merger would have to appease the numerous private equity firms invested in Caesars, with business insiders detailing potential conflicts related to any transaction.
Despite its troubled history and a credit to Frissora’s leadership, Caesars remains an attractive proposition with multiple options.
With Caesars’ governance seeking to expand the firm’s footprint beyond it’s the Vegas strip, Caesars may well be tempted to partner with US rival Wynn Resorts (current value $18 billion) securing a significant Asian market presence.
Further rumours see Asian giant Genting Malaysia eyeing Caesars as its US market platform, or Caesars continuing to act alone but targeting strategic investments in Canada and Japan, whilst further diversifying its business ‘beyond gambling’ as an entertainment property.