NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Caesars Entertainment Corp. (CZR) are higher by 23.80% to $16.70 in pre-market trading on Monday, after the company announced that it, along with its affiliate Caesars Acquisition Co. (CACQ) , have entered into an agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction.
The combining of the two companies will create one of the largest gaming and entertainment companies in the world, Caesars Entertainment said. The merged company will also be the preeminent gaming and hospitality company in Las Vegas.
The acquisition will serve to better position Caesars Entertainment to restructure the $18.4 billion debt loan of its largest unit, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
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The merged company will have $1.7 billion in cash and facilitate the completion of the restructuring of Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., the company said.
"The merger of Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Acquisition solidifies our focus on owning assets in destination and high-growth markets and businesses, while maintaining the benefits of operating our network and the Total Rewards loyalty program," said Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman.
"Upon completion of the merger and restructuring, Caesars Entertainment Corp. entities will be financially strong, with significantly reduced leverage and a much simpler and straightforward corporate structure," Loveman added.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: