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Houston Rockets Owner Grabs 4.5 Million Shares In Las Vegas Casino Operator Caesars

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Houston Rockets, Tilman Fertitta
Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has acquired 4.5 million shares in Caesars Entertainment Corp., according to the Houston Chronicle.

Fertitta's purchase represents less than 1% of Caesars' outstanding shares, according to Bloomberg.  

A plan to merge the two companies failed in 2018. The proposed merger would have put Fertitta in charge of the Las Vegas casino operation, and Caesar Entertainment would have absorbed Fertitta's restaurants and Golden Nugget casinos including debt in an exchange of stock. 

Golden Nugget is valued at $6.6B, including five casinos and 50 casino resorts. It has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filed in 2015 and its CEO, Mark Frissora, is stepping down by year-end.    

Fertitta continues to be interested in the merger but hasn't proposed the idea again, Bloomberg reports. He has said the company is undervalued.  

Known for flying in on his helicopter, Fertitta runs the Houston-based Landry Inc., which operates 600 concepts nationwide including over 60 restaurant brands, four aquariums, 11 hotels and two amusement parks.

Last year, he opened a luxurious mixed-use project, The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston. The success of the five-star hotel will mark Houston's appetite for luxury accommodations.