Latham scoops lead on Harrah’s takeover

Latham & Watkins’ client and US casino operator Harrah’s has accepted a $27.8bn (£14.29bn) offer from private equity funds Apollo and Texas Pacific.

As first reported in The Lawyer (9 October), Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton also won roles on the mega-deal, advising their respective longstanding clients Apollo and Texas Pacific.

Las Vegas gaming specialists Shreck Brignone Godfrey, which will merge with 150-lawyer Denver firm Brownstein Hyatt & Farber in January, also advised the private equity houses.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel scooped the advisory role to the financial advisers, while Kaye Scholer advised Harrah’s special committee.

Latham advised Harrah’s, the largest casino operator in America with 85,000 employees, with a team led by corporate partner Charles Ruck in the firm’s Orange County office.

Wachtell’s team advising Apollo was led by corporate partners Steven Cohen and Greg Ostling, while Cleary led for Texas Pacific. The private equity funds are assuming about $10.7bn (£5.5bn) worth of Harrah’s debt.

Cahill advised Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deustche Bank, JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch in the debt financing used to finance a substantial portion of the transaction.

Apollo and Texas Pacific offered $90 in cash per share for Harrah’s, representing a 36 per cent premium on the closing price of Harrah’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange a day before the private equity houses made their bid on 30 September.

In September, Harrah’s made a successful £279.3m bid for London Clubs International (LCI). In that deal, Linklaters led for Harrah’s and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised LCI (, 11 September).