US trio scoop lead roles on Harrah’s bid

Latham & Watkins, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton have secured key mandates advising on the $15bn (£7.9bn) private equity bid for US casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment.

If successful, private equity houses’ Apollo Management and Texas Pacific’s joint offer for the casino operator would be one of the largest leveraged buyouts to date.

But Harrah’s said in a statement that its board has not yet decided whether taking the company private would be in its, or its shareholders’, best interests.

Apollo has instructed its panel firm Wachtell, while Cleary Gottlieb confirmed that it was acting for its long-standing client Texas Pacific.

Latham’s Los Angeles office is understood to be heading up legal advice to the company. The firm declined to comment.

Harrah’s is the owner of America’s largest casino, having bought Caesars Palace last year.

In August, it also agreed to takeover London Clubs International (LCI), a move that was approved by the Office of Fair Trading yesterday. Linklaters advised Harrah’s on the acquisition.