April 23, 2013 / 3:06 PM / 6 years ago

Caesars to create new company to focus on growth, shares soar

A security guard stands outside the entrance of Caesar's Casino on the Atlantic City boardwalk, October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Tom Mihalek

(Reuters) - Heavily indebted casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp (CZR.O) said it would split itself into two companies, with private-equity firms Apollo Management LP (APO.N) and TPG Capital TPG.UL intending to invest $250 million each in a new growth-oriented business.

Caesars said on Tuesday it would retain majority ownership of the new entity, Caesars Growth Partners LLC, which is intended to improve the company’s capital structure and allow it more flexibility to pursue new projects.

Caesars shares leaped 31 percent after the announcement to one-month high of $16.36, before easing back to $16.25.

The transaction could see up to $1.2 billion raised with contributions from existing shareholders, the company said.

Caesars Growth Partners will take over the company’s online business, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, as well as the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and Caesars’ interests in the Horseshoe Baltimore casino under development.

Caesars Entertainment had $24.1 billion of debt outstanding as of December 31, according to a regulatory filing.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane and Ted Kerr

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