Harrah’s: $5 Billion in Bonds Tendered via Swap

NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) – Harrah’s Entertainment Inc said on Thursday investors had tendered $5 billion in bonds, or 57 percent of the issues the casino operator was seeking.

The exchange gives the company some breathing room by pushing back the the maturity dates of its near-term debt.

Harrah’s offered to exchange the bonds, with maturities ranging from 2010 to 2018, for $2.8 billion in principal of 10-percent second-priority senior secured notes due 2018.

Harrah’s also said a group of investors including Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital raised their cash tender offer to $350 million from $250 million for 10-percent second-priority senior secured notes due 2015 and due 2018.

Affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital LP [TPG.UL] bought Harrah’s in January 2008 in a deal valued at about $30 billion. The operator has about $24.5 billion face value of outstanding debt, according to a regulatory filing.

The company warned earlier this week it may not be able to meet its debt payments due to a deep recession.

The gaming industry has suffered from a sharp pullback in consumer spending that coincided with the opening of several new casinos that increased supply. Several operators have filed for bankruptcy.

(Reporting by Tom Hals; Editing by Derek Caney)