Harrah’s Agrees to Be Acquired by Apollo and TPG
Stockholders to receive $90.00 per share in cash;
Transaction valued at approximately $27.8 billion
From: Harrah's Corporate Office Filed 12/19/06 GCN
LAS VEGAS -- December 19, 2006 -- Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: HET) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for affiliates of Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and Apollo Management, L.P. to acquire Harrah’s in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $27.8 billion, including the assumption of approximately $10.7 billion of debt.
Under the terms of the agreement, Harrah’s stockholders will receive $90.00 in cash for each outstanding Harrah’s share. This represents a premium of approximately 36% over Harrah’s closing share price on September 29, 2006, the last trading day before disclosure of the initial offer made by Apollo and TPG to acquire Harrah’s for $81.00 per share.
The Harrah’s Board of Directors, based on the recommendation of a Special Committee of non-management directors which conducted a thorough review of Harrah’s strategic alternatives, has approved the agreement and has recommended that Harrah’s stockholders vote in favor of the agreement.
“In Apollo and TPG, we will have owners who share our vision for Harrah’s, are fully supportive of our current strategy and are committed to helping us execute on it. This will be a change in ownership, not a change in direction,” said Gary Loveman, Harrah’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “Harrah’s management team and its 85,000 talented employees look forward to working with Apollo and TPG as the Company moves into the next phase of its growth and development.”
“After careful consideration of the full range of strategic alternatives, the Special Committee and the full Board concluded this transaction is in the best interest of Harrah’s stockholders,” said Robert Miller, co-chairman of the Special Committee. “Apollo and TPG are both leading private equity firms with proven track records and strong reputations.”
David Bonderman, TPG founding partner, said, “We are delighted to be joining with the excellent management team at Harrah's and our private equity partners to continue to build on the Company’s strong foundation. Taking a long-term perspective, we believe we will be able to help Harrah’s deliver on its growth strategy.”
Leon Black, founding partner of Apollo, said, “Harrah’s has an excellent brand name, strong cash flows, an impressive portfolio of properties, a very talented management team, and highly skilled employees. Together with our private equity partners, we look forward to building on Harrah’s successful track record of operational success and helping the Company to achieve its strategic goals.”
Under the merger agreement, Harrah's may solicit superior proposals from third parties during the next 25 days. The board of directors of Harrah's, through its special committee and with assistance of its independent advisors, intends to solicit superior proposals during this period. There can be no assurances that the solicitation of superior proposals will result in an alternative transaction. Harrah's does not intend to disclose developments with respect to this solicitation process unless and until its board of directors has made a decision.
The transaction is expected to be completed in approximately one year, and is subject to stockholder approval, regulatory approvals, and customary closing conditions. It is not subject to a financing condition.
Harrah’s intends to pay stockholders its regular quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share until the transaction closes. Apollo and TPG have agreed to increase the purchase price at a rate of $0.01973 per day per Harrah’s common share beginning March 1, 2008, if closing has not occurred by that date, less an adjustment for any dividends paid on or after March 1, 2008.
Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Harrah’s and Kaye Scholer LLP provided legal advice to the Special Committee. UBS Securities LLC served as financial advisor to the Special Committee and rendered a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of Harrah’s in connection with the proposed transaction. In addition, Peter J. Solomon Company also provided a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors. Deutsche Bank Securities is serving as lead financial advisor to Apollo and TPG. Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, and Schreck Brignone are serving as the investors’ legal advisors. Banc of America Securities LLC, Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, JPMorgan, and Merrill Lynch & Co. are also serving as financial advisors to the investors. Global Leisure Partners LLP is acting as financial advisor to Apollo.
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment through operating subsidiaries. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada nearly 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The company’s properties operate primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names; Harrah’s also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.
More information about Harrah’s is available at its Web site – www.harrahs.com.
Apollo, founded in 1990, is a recognized leader in private equity, debt and capital markets investing. Since its inception, Apollo has successfully invested over $16 billion in companies representing a wide variety of industries, both in the United States and internationally. Apollo is currently investing its sixth private equity fund, Apollo Investment Fund VI, L.P., which, along with related co-investment entities, represents approximately $12 billion of new capital.
About the Transaction
In connection with the proposed merger, Harrah's will file a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE, BECAUSE IT WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the proxy statement (when available) and other documents filed by Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. at the Securities and Exchange Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov. The proxy statement and such other documents may also be obtained for free by directing such request to Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. Investor Relations, 2100 Caesars Palace Drive, Palace Tower, Spa Level, Las Vegas, NV 89109, telephone: (702) 407-6381 or on the company's website at http://investor.harrahs.com.
Harrah's and its directors, executive officers and certain other members of its management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from its stockholders in connection with the proposed merger. Information regarding the interests Harrah's participants in the solicitation will be included in the proxy statement relating to the proposed merger when it becomes available.