Private offering of US$720 million as company seeks to refinance debt load

Harrah’s Entertainment plans to offer US$720 million in a private offering of new eight-year notes, as the casino giant continues to seek ways to refinance its debt load.

Harrah's said the offering of senior secured notes will be issued under the same indenture as the 11.25 percent notes issued June 10, with proceeds of the sale going to repay current borrowings.

Harrah’s, like several other highly leveraged casino operators, has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Operators, like Harrah’s, with heavy to exposure to Las Vegas, have been hit particularly hard and have been selling stock and/or debt in part to pay off near- term debt.

Harrah’s has taken many steps in recent months to reduce debt through tenders and bond-exchange offers. Last month, the company said in filings that its units paid an average of 48 cents on the dollar to purchase $788 million in debt during the second quarter.