Eldorado to buy Caesars casinos

A casino juggernaut was announced Monday when Eldorado Resorts said it is buying Caesars in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $17.3 billion.

The acquisition would put about 60 casino-resorts in 16 states under a single name, Caesars, creating the largest gambling operator in the United States. The deal — following pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn — is targeted to close in the first half of 2020 if approved by gambling regulators and shareholders.

It would open the doors of the Las Vegas Strip market to Eldorado.

“We are incredibly excited. This is an iconic brand,” Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg said, referring to Caesars Entertainment during a conference call. “It’s really a level of property and brand that we have not had the great fortune to control, and now we will.”

The company would be led by Reeg, along with Eldorado Chairman Gary Carano. It is expected to be headquartered in Reno, Nev., where Eldorado is based, and have a significant corporate presence in Las Vegas, where Caesars is based.

The deal was months in the making. Icahn earlier this year revealed he had amassed an enormous stake in Caesars Entertainment and pushed for fundamental changes at the company, including board representation and a say in the replacement of the then-CEO. He argued that the company’s stock was undervalued and the best way to boost it would be to sell the company.

Caesars Entertainment, which operates more than 30 casinos in the United States, emerged from bankruptcy protection in late 2017, but it has been struggling since.

— Associated Press

WTO: 'Dramatic spike' in import restrictions

The world’s 20 most advanced economies, the G-20, erected 20 new trade restrictions between October and May, covering trade worth $335.9 billion, the World Trade Organization said on Monday, warning that more were being considered.

Together with trade barriers covering $480.9 billion in the previous period, the rise in new barriers represents “a dramatic spike” in import restrictions, the WTO said in a regular monitoring trade report before a G-20 meeting.

“The stable trend that we saw for almost a decade since the financial crisis has been replaced with a steep increase in the size and scale of trade-restrictive measures over the last year,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement.

“This will have consequences in increased uncertainty, lower investment and weaker trade growth,” he said, adding that there was an urgent need for leadership from the G-20, whose leaders will meet this week in Osaka, Japan.

The WTO statement noted that several more significant trade restrictions were being considered, compounding the challenges and uncertainty in the global economic environment.

— Reuters

Also in Business

JetBlue Airways has sued Walmart for trademark infringement, after the world's largest retailer began using the name Jetblack for its text-based personal shopping service. In a complaint filed on Friday night in Manhattan federal court, JetBlue called Jetblack a "transparent attempt" by Walmart to capitalize on the goodwill associated with the carrier's trademarks.

Walgreens is making it easier for customers to dispose of unused drugs safely. The drugstore chain said Monday that at each of its more than 9,500 U.S. locations, it will offer packets that customers can use to turn medications into a useless gel before throwing them in the trash at home.

7-Eleven launched a delivery service Monday that will send a Slurpee, or almost anything else carried by the chain, to public places such as parks and beaches. The company said that more than 2,000 7-Eleven "hot spots" including New York's Central Park and Venice Beach in Los Angeles would be activated Monday.

Coming today

10 a.m.: Commerce Department releases new-home sales for May.

10: a.m.: The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for June.

Earnings: FedEx reports quarterly results.

— From news services