U.S. casino operator Caesars Entertainment has agreed to sell a golf course in Macau to Pearl Dynasty Investment Ltd for $438 million, effectively giving up on its wait for casino operating rights in the Chinese gaming enclave.
The Las Vegas-based company said on Friday it plans to use proceeds to fund other capital expenditures or repurchase debt obligations, according to a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It did not comment further.
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This followed a move by Caesars in April to spin off assets, with buyout firms Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital LP investing $250 million each in a new business free from the shackles of the company's debt, potentially raising up to $1.2 billion for Caesars.
The company was taken private by a consortium led by the two private equity firms in 2008 for $30.7 billion and went public last year. It is struggling to cope with debt topping $20 billion, according to its interim results announced July 30.
Caesars does not own a license to operate casinos in Macau.
The company had bought the land near the territory's Cotai strip for $578 million in 2007 with the intention of developing a hotel-casino complex, but the Macau government has not increased the six casino operating licenses issued since 2001.
(Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Paul Tait)