Caesars reportedly in talks to give Carl Icahn board representation, activist investor proposes Anthony Rodio as Mark Frissora’s successor
Gaming and hospitality powerhouse Caesars Entertainment Corp.
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The ongoing talks also involve an agreement between the company and the businessman that would give him board seats. The latest reports surrounding the future of Caesars arrive shortly after Mr. Icahn confirmed last week in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that he has amassed a 9.78% stake in the hotel and casino operator and that he believes its potential sale would offer the best value for its stockholders.
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Caesars said in a response to Mr. Icahn’s filing that it has engaged in discussions with the businessman and that it would consider all his suggestions.
It also became known from last week’s SEC filing that the billionaire investor plans to nominate “a slate of directors” to Caesars’ board during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
The casino operator is reportedly in negotiations with Mr. Icahn to give him board seats. Unnamed sources with knowledge of the ongoing talks said on Sunday that the billionaire investor has proposed Anthony Rodio as the new CEO of Caesars when Mark Frissora steps down.
Mr. Frissora was to leave in February, but the company said not long ago that he will remain at its helm for a little longer.
CEO Candidates Shortlist
Caesars already has a shortlist of candidates to succeed Mr. Frissora. The company has reportedly told Mr. Icahn that it will consider his candidate, as well. Mr.
Rodio is currently the CEO of private gambling company Affinity Gaming.
According to sources, Caesars is open to providing Mr. Icahn with board representation. The businessman could receive a significant minority in the 12 board seats, sources believe. The deadline for Mr.
Icahn to nominate board directors expires on March 1, which means that ongoing discussions between the investor and Caesars could result in a deal in the next few days.
If a deal is not reached, the casino operator may either extend the nomination period or continue talks with Mr. Icahn even if he files a board slate for election, sources pointed out.
The New York activist investor is not Caesars’ only shareholder to be pressing for the company’s sale. News emerged over the weekend that the company’s largest stockholder, Los Angeles hedge fund Canyon Partners, believes shareholder value will be “best served and enhanced by an open sale process.” It was reported last summer that another hedge fund, HG Vora, had built a 5% stake in Caesars and was urging the company to sell itself.
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