Casino and hotel operator Caesars Entertainment is selling its 70% stake in South African property Emerald Resort & Casino as it shifts its focus to more “strategic markets.”
In a statement, the casino operator said it’s already negotiating with Peermont Hotels, Casinos, and Resorts for the acquisition of Caesars’ ownership in the casino property. Peermont is expected to pay $39 million in cash after adjustments, while the remaining 30% ownership in the casino operations will remain in the control of local partners.
The casino resort, located in Vanderbijlpark, is valued at a total amount of about $70 million, meaning that Caesars’ has a $49 million investment in the casino operations.
Caesars said it will continue operating the Emerald Resort & Casino until the transaction closes, which is expected to take place in late 2019.
Tony Rodio, CEO at Caesars, explained that the move allows them to focus on other strategic marketsm, saying, “While Emerald Resort & Casino is a unique property, it receives limited benefit from the Caesars’ Rewards network effect given its remoteness to other properties in our network. We’re pleased to monetize this non-core asset in our portfolio.“
A change in strategic markets is definitely what Rodio has in mind. The company is already in the process of selling properties they own on the Las Vegas strip, as Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin appears to be the leading suitor for at least some of these properties. It is expected that Caesars Palace will be up for sale, and Treasure Island looks to be the primary suitor. It is reported that Ruffin is willing to spend as much as $1 billion to purchase the properties on the strip.
A week ago, it was reported that Caesars Entertainment seems to be losing interest in the Hellinikon casino project in Greece. Caesars was one of several companies that were interested in vying for the 30-year license provided as part of the operation; however, reports surfaced that the casino operator is rethinking that plan.
Before the final deal can be closed in South Africa, the sale must be approved by the appropriate regulatory agencies and other government officials. They will help to determine if the proper closing conditions have been met according to the laws of the country.