Caesars Wins More Time to Pursue Bankruptcy Plan Without Rivals

  • Rival bondholders can't present own plan until next March
  • Casino company has exclusive right to seek votes until May

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. has until March to update its reorganization plan before facing a possible rival proposal from middle-tier bondholders who have been fighting the casino company since it filed for bankruptcy.

Allowing creditors to file their own plan now would “needlessly complicate” the $20 billion case, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar said Wednesday at a hearing in Chicago. For now, the company retains its exclusive right to propose a plan until March and has until May to solicit creditor votes without competition. Caesars filed for bankruptcy in January.

In extending Caesars’ so-called exclusivity, Goldgar rejected a request by a committee of second-priority noteholders to let them file a their own proposal. The noteholders have been leading the fight against Caesars’ proposed restructuring effort.

Caesars reached an agreement on how to cut debt and reorganize with its two most senior creditor groups: bank lenders and secured bondholders who are together owed about $12 billion. The Las Vegas-based company hasn’t been able to make a deal with a majority of the second-priority bondholders or unsecured creditors.

The case is In re Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc., 15-01145, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

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