Soros Emerges From Caesars Casino Bankruptcy With 4.9% Holding

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire George Soros’s family office became one of the top stakeholders in Caesars Entertainment Corp. in the wake of an October bankruptcy court reorganization.

Soros Fund Management held 34.5 million shares of the U.S.’s largest casino owner valued at $436 million, as of Dec. 31, according to regulatory filings Wednesday. At 4.89 percent of Caesars’s outstanding equity, the stake is just shy of the 5 percent threshold at which investors are required to file a Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Soros is now among the 10 biggest shareholders of Caesars. The reorganization distributed stock in both Caesars and a spin-off, Vici Properties Inc., to creditors. Soros also owns 7 percent of Vici, a real estate investment trust that owns several Caesars-operated hotels.

Soros has been an investor in the debt and equity of Caesars for years. The company was acquired in $30 billion leveraged buyout at the top of the market in 2008. Caesars, which owns or manages iconic properties such as Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Harrah’s in New Orleans, put its largest division into bankruptcy in 2015. The unit emerged from bankruptcy last October.

Vici received an unsolicited merger offer from MGM Growth Properties last month. Vici’s board rejected the offer, saying it was inadequate. The Soros position could give the billionaire a say if MGM Growth renews its pursuit of a merger.

Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in U.S. equities must file a Form 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter to list their holdings in stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges, as well as options and convertible debt. The filings don’t show non-U.S. traded securities, bonds, cash or wagers against stocks. Some firms have yet to report their latest holdings.

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