Casinos & Hotels

Caesars Shares Bust on Bankruptcy Ruling

Chris Lange

Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) kicked off the week by watching its shares take a dive following an unfavorable ruling in bankruptcy court. A Chicago judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court system ultimately ruled that Caesars would not be shielded from roughly $11 billion in bondholder lawsuits against the company.

The operating company of the Caesars’ organization filed for bankruptcy back in January 2015. As only a subsidiary, Caesars was looking to halt these lawsuits that are being claimed against the non-bankrupt parent company.

However, at that time Caesars merged with its property acquisition company, just before the operating unit filed for Chapter 11 protection. The merger reduced Caesars debt from nearly $23 billion and gave the company some hope of weathering the storm.

After the merger, creditors claimed that Caesars dealt with them unfairly before the operating unit’s bankruptcy filing by moving assets to other affiliates and out of creditors’ reach.

The primary architects of this lawsuit are none other than David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management, Apollo Global and TPG Capital. As the creditor, Appaloosa is making the case that Caesars reneged on its agreement to make good on its debt.

Caesars has been in a rough patch for the past few years after the stock topped out around $26 in 2014. Since that time it has been plagued by debt and complications in China (Macau).

Excluding Monday’s move, the stock was down around 5% year to date. The numbers get worse looking at the past 52 weeks, with the stock down 13.5%.

Shares of Caesars were down 16% at $6.31 Monday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $8.00 and a 52-week trading range of $5.39 to $9.91. Shares were indicated down as sharp as 30% in premarket trading.