Eldorado Resorts to Acquire Tropicana Entertainment for $1.85 Billion


Hedge fund manager Carl Ichan divested most of his casino holdings Monday after cutting a $1.85 billion deal to sell off Tropicana Entertainment.

Among the casinos included in the deal are the Tropicana Laughlin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. Icahn Enterprises said it plans to sell the Aruba resort before closing on the Eldorado/Gaming deal by the end of the year.

The deal is targeted to close during the second half of the year.

Eldorado Resorts Inc. operates twenty properties in ten states, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is cashing out of casino business Tropicana Entertainment (TPCA.PK) in a $1.85 billion deal that will see Eldorado Resorts (ERI.O) picking up Tropicana's casino operations including its crown jewel in Atlantic City. We believe the financing structure for the transaction, which includes the participation of a real estate investment trust, represents an innovative means to drive growth and add value for our shareholders while maintaining financial flexibility as we continue to own the majority of the underlying real estate across our remaining property portfolio. Mr. Icahn has chaired Tropicana's board since 2010.

Eldorado estimates its expanded portfolio after the deal will include almost 27,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals, 800 table games, and 12,500 hotel rooms.

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Reno-based Eldorado owns and operates twenty properties in 10 USA states, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The billionaire investor had reinvested more than $200 million into the Atlantic City property, insiders say, and Tropicana Atlantic City expanded into the nearby boutique hotel The Chelsea past year.

Eldorado Resorts said the acquisitions will allow the company to enter two new gaming jurisdictions. Opened in 1981, the hotel includes 2,215 guest rooms.

The company, which bought Isle of Capri Casinos in a $1.7 billion deal in 2017, on Monday also agreed to acquire Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois for $327.5 million in cash.

In Atlantic City, Icahn still owns the shuttered former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which shut down in 2014.