According to Reuters, casino giant Harrah’s will register 9.9% of its stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The shares are currently in the hands of John Paulson, investor and hedge fund extraordinaire.
Reuters claims that the reason for the move is so Paulson can receive “registered, common voting stock.” eGaming Review noted that the process of filing with the SEC was similar to announcing an initial public offering, or IPO: “The SEC form used to register the shares, called an S-1, is the same one used as the first step toward an initial public offering, or IPO. However, the registration does not necessarily mean those shares will be sold on public markets.”
Reuters added that Apollo and TPG Capital hold around 89% of the casino company’s stock. The form S-1, given on Harrah’s corporate website, was filed on August 12th and seeks Common Stock valued at $0.01 per share. Harrah’s announced its second quarter financial figures at the beginning of the month, posting a $274 million loss. In a remarkable turn of events, the company recorded a profit of nearly $2.3 billion in the same quarter last year.
Despite the less-than-stellar financial figures, Harrah’s CEO Gary Loveman commented in the company’s financial release, “During the past two years, we’ve reduced expenses and debt substantially, increased our liquidity to about $3 billion, and acquired the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and Thistledown racetrack in Cleveland. I believe we’re well-positioned for an eventual legalization of online gaming in the United States, and more capable of capitalizing on additional growth opportunities than at any time in the past two years.” Net revenues of $2.2 billion during Q2 2010 were about even year over year.
Revenues from its Las Vegas properties were up to $713 million in the second quarter of 2010. In Atlantic City, however, which has continued to struggle given economic pressures and nearby casino gaming options, revenues dipped to $488 million. The company owns five properties in the Eastern state: Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s Chester, and Showboat Atlantic City.
In Louisiana and Mississippi, Harrah’s revenues dropped 5% to $299 million. In Iowa and Missouri, the company’s haul also slipped, as its $186 million in revenues in the second quarter fell short of last year’s tally of $191 million. Illinois and Indiana casinos – Harrah’s Joliet, Harrah’s Metropolis, Horseshoe Hammond, and Horseshoe Southern Indiana – saw their revenues fall 5.6% to $295 million.
Harrah’s acquisition of Planet Hollywood earlier this year led many in the poker world to believe that the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), which takes place at Harrah’s Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, was picking up shop. However, WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart told ESPN’s “Inside Deal” last week, “We can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that the November Nine will definitely be played at the Penn and Teller Theater, and big, large organizational meetings are already underway to host the 2011 WSOP at the Rio.”
Reuters added that Harrah’s will soon open casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati, shelling out $600 million in the process: “Under their non-binding agreement, Harrah’s may eventually take a minority stake in the downtown casinos in the fall of 2010, but mange them day-to-day. Ohio voters approved casino gaming in November 2009.” The company operates 38 casinos across North America and one each worldwide in Egypt, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Uruguay.
The 2010 WSOP Main Event resumes on November 6th at the Rio. Its final table will air on ESPN three days later. Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest stock headlines.