American casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corporation is reportedly close to selling a portion of its online games business to a Chinese consortium in a deal that could be worth more than $4.2 billion.
According to a report from the Reuters news agency, the Las Vegas-based firm’s Caesars Acquisition Company holding enterprise is in exclusive talks to sell its Caesars Interactive Entertainment subsidiary to a group that includes online games developer Giant Interactive Group following an auction that additionally involved toymaker Hasbro and South Korean mobile games firm Netmarble Games.
A multi-player games innovator, Giant Interactive Group was taken private in 2014 for $3 billion by a group that included company Chairman Yuzhu Shi and the Baring Private Equity Asia private equity firm. It was granted a short exclusivity period following the auction while the potential sale is thought not to include Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s real-money online games or World Series Of Poker brand.
Reuters reported that the Caesars Interactive Entertainment casino-themed online games unit purchased rival Playtika in 2011 with the division as a whole reporting annual revenues in 2015 of $766 million, which represented a 23% increase year-on-year.
The service contends that the proceeds from any sale could be used to pump cash into a new group being created through a merger of Caesars Acquisition Company and Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which is intertwined with the $18 billion ongoing bankruptcy of Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s main operating unit, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, and its desire to acquire creditor approvals for a restructure that hinges on billions of dollars of cash and equity from its parent.