Bid Raised in Harrah's Buyout

Casino operator Harrah's Entertainment and spokesmen for two private equity firms declined Wednesday to confirm a report that the world's largest casino company received a sweetened buyout bid amounting to more than $15.5 billion.

Harrah's Entertainment spokesman Alberto Lopez in Las Vegas said
Wednesday he had no information about a raise in the bid and could
not comment on the report.

Spokesmen for Texas Pacific Group, based in Fort Worth, Texas, and New York-based Apollo Management declined comment.

The New York Times, citing people involved in the negotiations, reported that Apollo Management and Texas Pacific submitted the
increased bid this week to the Harrah's Entertainment board. The sources said the board had rejected an initial cash offer of $15.05

That initial offer was worth $81 a share; the new offer values
the company at between $83 to $84 a share. Harrah's shares ended
Tuesday's regular session at $76.39.

If the deal goes through, it would be the largest ever buyout in gambling history.

Last week, two Harrah's shareholders sued the company, along with Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management, saying the deal is not in the best interests of investors.

The plaintiffs, Henoch Kaiman and Joseph Weissare, asked the court to block the deal and force Harrah's to solicit other bids. The shareholders are also seeking class-action status for the suit. The lawsuit was filed in Delaware Chancery Court.

Las Vegas-based Harrah's operates about 40 casinos throughout
the U.S., including Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and other casinos
under the names Bally's, Horseshoe and Showboat.