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Caesars denies another request from second-level bond holder

24 Feb 2015

By Howard Stutz
LAS VEGAS -- For the second time in two weeks, the casino operator rejected a demand from an unsecured second level bondholder for payment of the obligations.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, Caesars said BOKF N.A. asked for payment on $750 million in debt plus interest. Caesars Entertainment Corporation said it turned down the payment demand.

Last week, Caesars dismissed as “meritless” a request from the Wilmington Savings Fund Society for immediate payment of $3.68 billion in principal and $185 million in interest. Caesars has said there isn’t any guarantee by the parent company on second level notes.

Several second-lien bondholders have sued Caesars over the debt while it tries to reorganize its Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. through a prepackaged bankruptcy filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago.

The company has a deal in place with first-lien bondholders and banks to eliminate more than $10 billion of CEOC’s $18.4 billion debt load.

Caesars is seeking court approval to convert CEOC into a publicly traded real estate investment trust. CEOC controls Caesars Palace, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Reno Casino and Hotel and more than a dozen regional properties.

The REIT concept would split CEOC into two companies, including one owning real estate for many of the company’s casinos. A second company would manage the properties and pay a rent to the ownership company.

The restructuring may take up to a year to finalize.

Caesars, which reports fourth-quarter and year-end earnings next week, has $22.8 billion in long term debt.

Earlier this month, Caesars announced company Chairman Gary Loveman would give up the CEO position on June 30. He will be replaced by Mark Frissora, the former chairman and CEO of Hertz Global Holdings.

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