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Carl Icahn disclosed a new stake in Caesars Entertainment Corp. and called for the casino operator to consider a sale.
The billionaire investor holds a 9.8 percent stake in Caesars, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. Icahn believes that a sale is the best path forward and plans to talk to the board and other shareholders about his views, the filing shows. He called on the company to refrain from appointing a new chief executive officer until he had the chance to do so.
“We believe that our brand of activism is well-suited to the situation at Caesars, which requires new thought, new leadership, and new strategies,” Icahn said in the filing.
Golden Nugget casino owner Tilman Fertitta approached Caesars about a possible merger last year. The idea was to have the larger Caesars acquire Golden Nugget in a deal valuing Caesars around $13 a share, people familiar with Fertitta’s plans have said.
Fertitta has acquired about 4 million Caesars shares, amounting to less than a 1 percent stake, because he thinks the company is undervalued, people familiar with the matter said last week.
A representative for Caesars, based in Las Vegas, declined to comment.
Icahn, who has grappled with some of the biggest companies in America, has a history of mergers and acquisitions in the casino industry. He agreed to sell Tropicana Entertainment Inc. to Eldorado Resorts and real estate company Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. for $1.85 billion last year. He had purchased the company out of bankruptcy in 2008.
In 2017, Icahn sold the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City to Hard Rock International. He acquired that property out of bankruptcy two years earlier before closing it after failing to reach agreements with striking workers over pay and benefits.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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