The owner of Treasure Island Las Vegas, billionaire Phil Ruffin, stated that he is interested in acquiring another property located on Las Vegas Strip. He added that he was only aiming at the properties that were owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation and that were going to be for sale in the future.
Phil Ruffin stated his intentions in Las Vegas Review-Journal and added that his company was willing to produce up to $1 billion in cash in order to purchase some of the aforementioned properties. In fact, he added that he was willing to raise even more money and even go into debt if necessary in order to make one such purchase.
According to newspaper reports, the casino magnate is now 84-years old, and he has amassed his fortune mainly by being on the Strip where he developed various properties, including the legendary Treasure Island Las Vegas. Right now, he is closely monitoring Caesars Palace, Harrah’s and Paris as they seem to be his main targets for acquisition. They would generate annual cash flow which is estimated at $300 million.
Ruffin stated in the article that the properties he had set his eyes on had great locations and that he would have a strong interest. He added that his company did not have any kind of debt and that they would be ready to borrow money if they reached a deal with Caesars.
Moreover, Ruffin is very optimistic when he talks about the potential amount of money that his company could borrow in order to acquire Caesars properties. He claimed that they would be able to borrow the amount of money which was six times the amount of annual cash flow of any of the venues he was aiming at. However, according to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Incorporated, a financial services firm, if such an acquisition were to take place, it would require a financial asking of more than $2 billion.
The billionaire, who was born in Kansas, is said to be worth around $3 billion. However, he has used a huge amount of his personal wealth to buy a Miami casino property last December. Furthermore, he is aiming at expanding the 21-acre venue located in South Florida with an additional $100 million investment. At the moment, he is considering the addition of 300 hotel rooms to that venue, stating that they were able to put as many rooms as they wanted but that somewhere around 200 to 300 rooms would be the limit at the moment.
Ruffin is not the only one who has his eyes set at the Caesars’ properties in Las Vegas. In fact, two additional companies are in the game for now, and they are Boyd Gaming Corporation and Eldorado Resorts Incorporated. These casino firms are very interested in buying the Caesars’ venues located on the Strip. However, neither of the companies have actually expressed an official interest, with everything being more or less at the level of speculation for them. On the other hand, Ruffin is the only one to have talked about the acquisition.
The reason why Caesars’ properties are so inviting for investors is because the company is considering selling them as it has had financial turmoils for the past couple of years. The operator from Las Vegas owns 25 gambling venues, and its shares have dropped by approximately 20% during the past year. At this point, Carl Icahn jumped in to help by becoming the largest individual shareholder in the company. Icahn is known for being very eager to merge his newly acquired properties, and the possibility of Ruffin being a potential buyer is still a valid option.