Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s (Nasdaq: CZR) proposed acquisition of Centaur Holdings in Indianapolis has cleared another hurdle. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has granted an early termination of the waiting period for the $1.7 billion deal for Centaur, which owns Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson and the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville.
The waiting period is required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. According to the FTC’s website, the waiting period typically lasts 30 days after the FTC and the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is notified of the deal.
"This important milestone brings us one step closer to completing this acquisition, which is part of our post-emergence, inorganic growth strategy," said Mark Frissora, chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment. "In addition to expanding our gaming footprint, Caesars Entertainment has a strong track record of operating gaming facilities with horse tracks as successful integrated operations, which benefit horsemen, local communities and the state at large. We are especially impressed by the racing operations at the Centaur properties and intend to import best practices from these properties to other Caesars Entertainment properties with racing operations."
The planned acquisition was first announced in November. In addition to Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand, Caesars is set to acquire three off-track betting facilities in Indiana.
Caesars says the acquisition still needs approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and remains subject to customary closing conditions. When the deal was announced, the companies expected the deal to close in the first half of 2018.