Fail, Caesar: The Bankruptcy May Grow

On Friday, Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin Goldgar ruled that an injunction against $11 billion in lawsuits over how Caesars split itself into various units will be allowed to expire on Monday, August 29th. Given that the first of several court rulings in the various lawsuits is due on Tuesday, August 30th there’s a definite possibility that the rest of Caesars will join Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (CEOC) in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The dispute is over whether Ceasars (and its private equity owners, Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital) created a “good” (or healthy) Caesars and a “bad” (or unhealthy) Caesars (CEOC being the unhealthy Caesars). CEOC offered $4 billion extra in its reorganization plan if the junior creditors (they’re the ones who were protesting and suing over this dispute) would agree to the offer. While one junior creditor accepted the offer, most did not. Judge Goldgar wondered why the private equity owners weren’t contributing any of their own money to resolve the dispute. My cynical belief is that Apollo and TPG wanted to have their cake and eat it, too.

While CEOC plans on appealing the ruling, that’s a long shot. Given that a bankruptcy court examiner felt that the lawsuits could succeed (with damages as high as $5.1 billion), one possible means out for Caesars is to put the rest of Caesars into Chapter 11.

This coming week will be very critical for the future of Caesars.

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