Harrah's buyout finalized Monday

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Harrah's Entertainment Inc. announced this week the completion of its merger with Hamlet Merger Inc.

The merger was completed on Monday, and as a result, Harrah's stock ceased trade on the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Stock Exchange and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange at the close of the market that day.

The issued and outstanding shares of non-voting stock of Harrah's are now owned by entities affiliated with Apollo Management L.P. and TPG Capital L.P., while the voting stock of the company is owned by Hamlet Holdings LLC.

Hamlet Holdings is controlled by individuals affiliated with Apollo Management and TPG Capital.

The $17.1 billion acquisition closed as scheduled Monday after the process was started more than a year ago. Harrah's agreed in Dec. 2006 to be bought by affiliates of TPG Capital and Apollo Management.

Shareholders approved the deal April 5, 2007, but it couldn't be completed until the company received approval from gambling regulators in states where it owns properties. Those include:

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Louisiana
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi

It also had to get approval from the National Indian Gambling Commission.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Harrah's stockholders are entitled to receive $90 in cash for each share of Harrah's common stock that they hold.

Mellon Investor Services will mail letters of transmittal to all Harrah's stockholders of record with instruction on how to deliver their shares to the paying agent in exchange for payment.

"Stockholders of record should not surrender their stock certificates until they have completed the letter of transmittal," said Harrah's in a press release.

Also, stockholders who hold their shares through a bank or broker should contact that bank or broker to determine what actions they must take to have their shares converted into cash.

The deal marks the world's largest casino buyout to date.

Harrah's operates 50 casinos worldwide including Caesars Palace, Flamingo and Bally's in Las Vegas, and Harrah's, the Showboat, Caesars Atlantic City and Bally's in Atlantic City, N.J.

Harrah's is also the owner and operator of the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas as well as the World Series of Poker Europe, which made its debut in London in 2007.

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