Caesars sells Macau property to Pearl Dynasty for US$438m

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 August, 2013, 4:24am


Casino giant Caesars Entertainment is selling its property in Macau to an Asian developer for US$438 million.

The Las Vegas-based company reported in a quarterly filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that it had agreed to sell the golf course property to Pearl Dynasty Investments.

The publicly traded company said the deal was expected to be finalised by the end of the year and it would use the proceeds to pay down debt. Company stock ended at US$18.36 on Friday, up 4.26 per cent.

Caesars Entertainment spokesman Gary Thompson said a confidentiality clause precluded the company from comment beyond its disclosures.

The report says the agreement called for Pearl Dynasty to pay US$65.7 million this week, with completion within 90 days. Caesars Entertainment could keep US$43.8 million if the deal fails.

Caesars is the largest casino operator in the US, with properties in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and several other states.

It is the only major US casino company without a casino in Macau.

Rival companies MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands have Macau properties.

Corporate predecessor Harrah's Entertainment bought the 71-hectare site in 2007 for US$578 million, with plans to develop a hotel and casino. The name of the property was changed to Caesars Golf in 2010, after the corporate name change.

But the company didn't apply in the early 2000s for one of a finite number of gambling licences in Macau, and it never gained a gambling concession from the Macau government.

Caesars Entertainment said in an SEC filing last month that it planned to raise US$1.2 billion by selling stock.

It is also in the process of setting up an online gambling site for players in Nevada and is taking steps to spin off its online gambling venture into a separate company.