IPO

Caesars prices shares at $9; IPO set for Wed.

AP News
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Posted: Feb 07, 2012 8:11 PM
Caesars prices shares at $9; IPO set for Wed.

Casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. has priced its initial public offering of 1.8 million shares at $9 apiece.

The company expects to raise about $16 million before deducting costs.

The offering values Caesars at about $1.14 billion overall because it includes just 1.4 percent of the company's outstanding stock.

The shares go on sale Wednesday and will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "CZR," the company said.

In 2007, when Caesars was known as Harrah's, Apollo Management Group and Texas Pacific Group paid $17.1 billion and assumed $12.4 billion in debt to take the company private.

When it first filed to go public in October 2010 as Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the company planned to raise as much as $575 million. It scaled that back to $530 million, then canceled the proposal entirely, blaming market conditions.

The company restarted its IPO plans in November as the IPO market heated up again with several attention-getting tech offerings. At that point, it expected to raise about $50 million.

Caesars has said it would end up with net proceeds of $13.1 million selling the 1.8 million shares for $9, after deducting bank fees and other expenses. It plans to use the funds for general purposes including development.

Caesars still had $19.62 billion in debt as of Sept. 30.

Most of its casinos are in the U.S. and the U.K., while casino revenues are growing fastest in the major Asian markets.