A plan previously worked out by American casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corporation designed to get its Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Incorporated subordinate out of a contentious two-year bankruptcy could reportedly be in jeopardy due to a dispute involving a committee of bank lenders.
According to a report from the Reuters news service, the lenders, which include the GSO Capital Partners enterprise of Blackstone Group LP, told a hearing at the United States Bankruptcy Court yesterday that they had yet to finalize the precise details of the deal and could be forced to walk away.
“Simply put, without the consent of the bank lenders, the plan completely unravels,” read a November 21 court filing from the lenders.
Reuters reported that Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Incorporated filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in January of 2015 holding debts of $18 billion with creditors subsequently alleging that Caesars Entertainment Corporation and its private equity backers, Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital Management, had looted the unit prior to declaring insolvency.
After numerous legal wrangles, a deal was finally signed in October that would see Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Incorporated split into a casino operator and real estate investment trust with both controlled by the creditors. Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which is responsible for such properties as the Rio All Suite Las Vegas Hotel And Casino, Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel And Casino and Caesars Windsor Hotel And Casino, has agreed to contribute some $5 billion to the reorganization plan in exchange for being released from billions of dollars in potential legal claims.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation previously revealed that it intends to raise the $5 billion by giving investors stock in a new group it wants to create by merging with its Caesars Acquisition Company affiliate, which in July agreed to sell its Caesars Interactive Entertainment online games unit for $4.4 billion in cash.
However, Kristopher Hansen, a lawyer working for the bank lenders, reportedly stated during the Tuesday hearing in Chicago that his clients had not yet received promised documentation that ensures the market value of the post-split assets. Without this paperwork, he declared that the group of creditors, which had been among the first to back the reorganization plan, would change their votes.
Hansen reportedly explained that he intended to update the federal court on the status of a deal by December 14, which would be well before a confirmation trial that is due to take place on January 17.
The Caesars Entertainment Corporation plan has also recently faced criticism from the United States Trustee Program overseer due to its “blanket immunity” releases and the exculpation of “a wide array of parties for acts far beyond the plan or the Chapter 11 cases”. The watchdog, which supervises the administration of bankruptcy cases, moreover condemned the legal exonerations as too broad for shielding against willful misconduct or actual fraud.
A report from an independent examiner in March found that Caesars Entertainment Corporation as well as Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital Management could be on the hook for up to $5.1 billion in damages for the alleged asset-stripping although all three have continually denied any wrongdoing.