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Caesar in Desperate Fight with Creditors over Bankruptcy

Apr 24, 2015
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Caesars Entertainment has total control over bankruptcy

The operating unit of the bankrupt Caesars Entertainment needs more time to prepare a plan for restructuring the company. Therefore they submitted a plea to extend the period while they possess exclusive bankruptcy control until November, however the company’s creditors intend to prevent that. The noteholders, including the operating unit’s only allies, don’t want to let Caesars’ parent company to acquire protection from any lawsuit over their suspicious property transfers.

Bloomberg BNA:Caesars Creditors Try to Disqualify Kirkland

Kirkland & Ellis had to prepare for a fight in bankruptcy court against a committee that speaks for the junior secured noteholders in restructuring client Caesars Entertainment Operating Co, gambling law news reported recently. The committee tried to eliminate Kirkland, asking a judge to cast the firm off since they represented the Caesars Entertainment’s majority owners, Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital, on unrelated matters.

According to the committee, Kirkland also collected nearly $10 million in fees improperly just before the company’s bankruptcy on the 15th of January. The junior noteholders wanted the bankruptcy to happen in Wilmington, Delaware, while Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar is in Chicago, where the law firm originates from.

Bankruptcy is not a cheap process at all, and the quarrel over Kirkland’s participation increases the expenses heavily. According to the firm, the first six weeks after Caesars Entertainment filed for Bankruptcy cost them roughly $10 million. With this dispute over Kirkland’s participation, the bill will continue to run up without bringing the matter closer to solution.

Caesars Entertainment was in a restructuring process since years. After the debts and yearly interest fees were reduced significantly, it seemed that a complete reorganization is in reach. However, protesting creditors invented in January, filing for bankruptcy in Delaware.

Casinoscamreport.com: Caesars Wants More Time for Bankruptcy Plan

Caesars Entertainment trying to secure more time for planning, asked the Chicago bankruptcy court for a six month extension to reshape their structure strategy. On the actual conditions, Caesar’s operating division has to submit their recovery plan to the operational department until the 15th of May.

Lawyers representing the gambling giant stated that it is simply impossible to meet that deadline, according to online mobile news. They have 173 separate entities and many legal problems, they are currently fighting with their creditors too, and there is an ongoing investigation for their earlier deals.

The Caesars’s casino department has a debt of $18 million itself, but with the extension granted, the company could abolish the most of it. The possible new deadline would be the 15th of November if the bankruptcy court approves the company’s plea, and the creditors would have time to reply and articulate any disagreements until January.

If the extension is not granted by Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar, Caesar will present their suggestion to the court on the 29th of April and a verdict expected to be made quickly after. Caesars Entertainment’s shares have dropped by 17% after the extension plea was announced. The legal procedure is far from over, but it seems that Caesar prepared for a long war.

Reuters.com: Creditors, Caesars spar over control of casino bankruptcy

Creditors of Caesars Entertainment stated that they intend to block the attempt of the bankrupt company’s operating unit to extend the period during it has total control of the Chapter 11 restructure. They filed oppositions on Wednesday against the operating unit’s plea to push the deadline back with six months to November 15 instead of May 15.

During that time the operating unit has exclusive rights to suggest a strategy to diminish its $18 million debt. The creditors’ goal is to reach a point where other plans can also be submitted. Caesar’s operating unit filed for bankruptcy in January and that it is a rarity that creditors oppose the extension of exclusive control in such an early phase of a case.

Online gambling news reported that the company’s only supporters within the group of noteholders also objected the extension plea. The largest casino operator in the U.S. is in a desperate fight against its creditors, who accused the parent company of separating the operating unit of major properties like Linq Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The parent company, which is not bankrupt, is controlled by private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital Management. The operating unit plans to divide into a casino operator and a real estate investment trust by restructuring. This move would increase the value of the latter, and creditors would benefit from that. However, online betting news learned that by such a move Apollo and TPG would be protected from lawsuits over the property transfers, and the creditors want to prevent that.

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