All bets are off on Harrah's IPO

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The Independent Online

The US casino company Harrah's Entertainment has scrapped its $500m (£313m) initial public offering (IPO), citing market conditions, a day after General Motors made a triumphant return to Wall Street.

Harrah's, controlled by Apollo and TPG Capital, filed for the IPO in August. The two private equity firms bought the company in a $31bn leveraged buyout in early 2008, shortly before the global financial crisis erupted. The company still has nearly $20bn of debt, analysts said.

Harrah's, which is changing its name to Caesars Entertainment, has since seen its financial position erode as spending by consumers and businesses slumped. Harrah's posted a net loss of $165m in the third quarter.

Paulson & Co, a hedge fund manager that injected cash into Harrah's in June in exchange for equity, planned to sell its stake of 30 million shares.

Harrah's operates about 50 casinos, primarily in the US and Britain, mostly under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brands. It also owns and operates the World Series of Poker tournament and brand.