Caesars bankruptcy ends, names new chairman

Caesars Entertainment Corporation has announced the appointment of James Hunt as its new chairman following its emergence from bankruptcy last week.

Mr. Hunt brings a significant depth and breadth of business expertise gained during his ten years at The Walt Disney Company and 15 years at Ernst & Young. Mr. Hunt also brings extensive board experience serving as a director for Brown & Brown, Inc., The St. Joe Company and Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. in recent years, as well as the Nemours Foundation and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

"It is an honor to have been designated as chairman of the board of Caesars Entertainment," said Mr. Hunt. "Caesars is a leader in gaming and entertainment with strong brands, first-class properties and talented people. I am committed to working tirelessly with our Board colleagues and our management team to drive long-term value creation."

Mark Frissora, president and chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment, will remain an executive member of the Board.

"The completion of the merger and restructuring process present Caesars Entertainment with the opportunity to continue on our path of growth and value creation," Mr. Frissora said. "I look forward to partnering with Jim and all of the members of the incoming board to continue to take steps to unlock new growth opportunities."

Caesars also announced the completion of its previously announced merger with Caesars Acquisition Company and the conclusion of the restructuring of its CEOC and its debtor subsidiaries.

Under a more simpler operating structure, CEOC has separated virtually all of its U.S.-based real property assets from its gaming operations with Caesars Entertainment continuing to own and manage the gaming operations. 

"The conclusion of CEOC's restructuring leaves Caesars Entertainment with an expected enterprise value of approximately $20 billion based on yesterday's closing prices. With reduced leverage, increased free cash flow and the new REIT structure, we are positioned with a solid foundation to pursue a diversified growth strategy," said Frissora.

"Throughout the restructuring process, Caesars has invested significantly to upgrade and renovate its facilities. Total capex from 2015-2017 is expected to exceed $1.5 billion, which will benefit the company going forward. We are also executing hundreds of initiatives to generate incremental revenue, as well as to enhance operational efficiency, guest experiences and employee engagement through technology-driven innovation and process improvement."