Harrah's Entertainment says its board has accepted a 17 billion dollar buyout offer from two private equity groups.
The agreement with Apollo Management Group and Texas Pacific
Group for 90 dollars per share includes the assumption of 10.7 billion dollars in debt.
It is the largest deal ever to take a publicly held casino company private and, excluding debt, is the seventh largest leveraged buyout in history.
The price represents a premium of about 36 percent over Harrah's
closing price on September 29, the last trading day before it announced the first bid for 81 dollars a share. The board recommended shareholder approval.
Harrah's chief executive Gary Loveman says in a statement the deal marks a change in ownership, not a change in direction.
Texas Pacific founding partner says the deal will help Harrah's deliver on its growth strategy with a long-term perspective.
Harrah's says the deal was expected to be completed in about a year.
It also says that its special committee will continue to solicit third parties for a possible higher bid for the next 25 days.