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Caesars Sells Four Casinos to Affiliate for $2.2 Billion

March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Caesars Entertainment Corp., owner of the largest number of U.S. casinos, will sell four properties to an affiliate for $2.2 billion, freeing up cash as the company works to restructure $24.5 billion in debt.

Caesars is selling the Bally’s, Quad and Cromwell casino- hotels in Las Vegas, and the Harrah’s New Orleans to the affiliate, Caesars Growth Properties, according to a statement today. The transaction leaves Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., the company’s largest subsidiary, with more than $3 billion in cash, some of which will be used to reduce debt.

The deal provides Caesars with flexibility as it weighs further restructuring. Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital acquired Caesars in a $30.7 billion buyout in 2008, just as the financial crisis gripped Las Vegas. The company has since sold assets, bought back debt at a discount, refinanced loans and sold stock to the public to reduce its load.

Caesars Growth was created last year to aid in debt reduction. The parent company owns 58 percent of Caesars Growth, which also holds the company’s online gambling operations and Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas. The remaining 42 percent is owned by Caesars Acquisition Co., a publicly-traded company created last year through a $1.17 billion rights offering to Caesars shareholders.

Caesars Growth Properties has agreed to invest an additional $223 million to complete renovation of the Quad on the Las Vegas Strip, formerly known at the Imperial Palace.

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