A $17.7 billion purchase of casino giant Harrah's Entertainment Inc. by private equity buyers Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group - the world's largest casino buyout deal - has won final approval from Nevada regulators.
The state Gaming Commission voted unanimously for the deal, already approved by Harrah's shareholders and by several other states in which Harrah's Entertainment operates.
One last approval, from the National Indian Gambling Commission, is expected by the end of the month.
Commission members backed the big going-private deal after being
assured by the buyers that they support Harrah's expansion plans -
$4 billion in growth-related spending through 2012, including $2.1
billion in Nevada projects.
Apollo executive Marc Rowan and TPG executive Kelvin Davis also pointed to their investor strength, typically private and public pension funds, endowments and institutions, and noted successes in expanding successful companies like Harrah's and in reviving failing firms.
Gary Loveman, chief executive of Harrah's, will stay on in that role.