Group bookings starting in September look “extremely strong,” Reeg said, adding he expects a recovery for Las Vegas in the fourth quarter. His focus post-merger will be to boost results at Caesars’ properties and bring Eldorado’s casinos into the Caesars customer-loyalty program.
“We think what we’re good at is taking existing properties and optimizing operations,” he said.
In terms of achieving $500 million in annual expense savings, Reeg said buffets cost the company about $3 million a year per location and probably won’t reopen outside of Las Vegas. About 1,000 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the merger, most them at the corporate office in Las Vegas, he said.
Eldorado Chief Financial Officer Bret Yunker reiterated plans to sell two Indiana casinos and a resort on the Las Vegas Strip after the deal closes. Caesars is divesting its international properties, including one in South Africa that already has an interested buyer.
Eldorado is paying a little over $12 a share for Caesars, two-thirds of that in cash, in a deal that valued the target company at more than $17 billion when it was announced. The combined business, which will use the Caesars name, will have about $14 billion in total debt.