Caesars Entertainment Corp has succeeded in getting a temporary reprieve till October 5 from multiple lawsuits that amount to over $11 billion in claims. U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman decided on August 30 to put a temporary halt to the junior creditor lawsuits while Caesar’s operating unit, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co (CEOC) appeals a decision from the lower court that permitted bondholders to go after the billions of dollars in claims after it stripped Caesars of its lawsuit shield.
CEOC which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in January 2015, will now go back to court on October 5 to fight and see if it can get an overrule over U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar’s decision which the company believes is erroneous. Judge Robert W. Gettleman has stated that he will wait till the October 5 hearing and decide if he needs to overrule the bankruptcy judge’s decision but has cautioned CEOC that the process will be an uphill battle. Caesars has faced multiple billion dollar lawsuits in New York and Delaware courts and the temporary reprieve means that the company will not have to immediately deal with these billion dollar lawsuits.
CEOC has proposed to payback its bondholders 34 percent of what they are owed in an attempt to exit bankruptcy. These lawsuits from bondholders are the biggest challenge for CEOC and an examiner appointed by the court believes that the bondholders have a good chance of recovering more than the 34 percent they are being offered. Bondholders state that they have decided to go after Caesars, the parent company of CEOC based on the promptings of TPG Capital LP and Apollo Global Management LLC.
Bondholders allege that Caesars backed out of its promise to cover CEOC’s debts and conveniently split the business into a ‘good Caesars’ which was profitable and ‘bad Caesars’ which had debts. However Capital LP, Apollo Global Management LLC and Caesars deny these allegations. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar had put the lawsuits on hold back in June in order to give bondholders and CEOC time to negotiate a deal. Since both parties were unable to reach a mutual decision, Goldgar decided on August 26 to allow bondholders to go after the parent company and recover their dues and has given Caesars time till Jan 17, 2017 to submit a final restructuring plan that is backed by all creditor classes.
Caesars Entertainment shares have taken a beating this week and dropped by nearly 16 percent. The company now has just over a month to be able to reach a consensus with its shareholders or else it will have to come up with a strong legal argument that is good enough for Judge Gettleman to overrule Judge Goldgar’s decision. Caesars has issued a statement claiming that it will also have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if the courts decide that it must honor the debts of CEOC.