Harrah's making a run at Planet Hollywood
Harrah's Entertainment wants to acquire the struggling Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Harrah's began pursuing Planet Hollywood in September when it purchased $140 million of Planet Hollywood’s $870 million debt for an undisclosed amount and has formed a new subsidiary, PHW Las Vegas, with the intent of taking over property. PHW has filed an application with the Nevada Gaming Control Board seeking approval for the purchase.
Planet Hollywood has been in negotiations with lenders after defaulting on its commercial mortgage earlier this fall. The Wall Street Journal said it was unclear whether or not Harrah's has since purchased additional debt. The Las Vegas Review-Journal said Harrah’s has been quietly negotiating with holders to acquire more.
Harrah's controls six contiguous Las Vegas casinos just north of Planet Hollywood, making it an attractive acquisition. The acquisition of the 35-acre casino and hotel would give Harrah’s control of all 126 acres between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue on the east side of the Strip. Harrah’s already owns Harrah's Las Vegas, Imperial Palace, the Flamingo, Bill's Gambling Hall & Saloon, Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas. It would also add 2,496 hotel rooms to its inventory of 20,370 rooms on or near the Strip.
Planet Hollywood is owned by a consortium consisting of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which manages its hotel, restaurateur Robert Earl, founder of the Planet Hollywood chain, and investment group Bay Harbour Management.