Caesars Entertainment talks with billionaire investor Icahn

Published 02-20-2019

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Caesars Entertainment said Wednesday that it has talked with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who began pushing for fundamental changes this week after revealing a 10 percent stake in the casino operator.

Caesars said it is evaluating Icahn's ideas and will keep listening to the activist investor. The company's comments came a day after Icahn said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that he wants the company to pursue a sale while making leadership changes and adding some of his own choices to the board of directors.

"Caesars Entertainment regularly engages with our stockholders and considers their ideas and input regarding stockholder value," the company said in a statement. "The company intends to carefully evaluate Mr. Icahn's suggestions, including his request for board representation."

In Tuesday's filing, Icahn said Caesars' stock is undervalued and the best way to boost it would be to sell the company. He also revealed that he wants a say in whom the company appoints to replace CEO Mark Frissora, who guided Caesars through its more than two-year-long bankruptcy reorganization.

Frissora was scheduled to leave his position this month, but that departure was pushed back to the end of April. Icahn said he doesn't want Frissora's tenure extended again and expects the company to put off appointing a new leader until he and the board have engaged "meaningfully."

The casino behemoth emerged from an $18 billion bankruptcy in October 2017. It operates more than 35 casinos in the U.S. Its casino-resorts operate primarily under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brand names.

Shares of the Las Vegas-based company jumped more than 5 percent Tuesday on news of Icahn's involvement but were still down 27 percent from a year ago.

Caesars reports fourth-quarter earnings results Thursday.

Shares of the Las Vegas-based company jumped more than 5 percent Tuesday on news of Icahn's involvement but were still down 27 percent from a year ago.

Caesars reports fourth-quarter earnings results Thursday.

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