UPDATE 1-Harrah registers Paulson stock with SEC, eyes Ohio

* Paulson shares to be registered, part of deal

* Harrah’s plans to expand in Ohio

BANGALORE, Aug 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Harrah’s Entertainment
[HAMLEH.UL], the world’s largest casino operator by revenue,
plans to register a portion of its shares with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, furthering an acquisition
deal struck with billionaire investor John Paulson.

The company also said on Thursday it was teaming up with
Rock Gaming LLC to form a venture to develop and operate
downtown casinos in the Midwestern U.S. cities of Cleveland and
Cincinnati. They expect to invest at least $600 million.

Under a deal that gave the casino operator a $557 million
cash infusion, Harrah’s said Paulson’s 9.9 percent stake,
acquired in exchange for debt, will be registered so that the
billionaire can receive registered, common voting stock,
Harrah’s said in June. [ID:nWEN5504]

Harrah’s this month posted a second quarter loss of $274
million as the U.S. casino industry battles a rocky domestic
economy, dwindling attendance and a surplus of hotel rooms,
particularly in Las Vegas, where the company owns and operates
Caesar’s Palace and Paris. [ID:nN04270778]

But Harrah’s, controlled by Apollo Management and private
equity giant TPG, said the Paulson deal would grant it a war
chest to pursue domestic and international growth
opportunities.

Under their non-binding agreement, Harrah’s may eventually
take a minority stake in the downtown casinos in the fall of
2010, but mange them day-to-day. Ohio voters approved casino
gaming in November 2009.

Harrah’s was acquired by private equity firms Apollo
[APOLO.UL] and TPG Capital LP [TPG.UL] in a 2008 leveraged
buyout. In June, Apollo and TPG, along with Paulson’s hedge
fund company, exchanged $1.1 billion in Harrah’s debt for an
equity stake of about 15.6 percent.

Apollo and TPG own about 89.3 percent of Harrah’s stock,
the company said in the filing.
(Reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Sofina
Mirza-Reid)

UPDATE 1-Harrah registers Paulson stock with SEC, eyes Ohio