On the Line: Harrah's Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman
Harrah’s Entertainment announced today with singer Jimmy Buffett that the two will launch a Harrah’s Margaritaville casino resort in Biloxi, Miss., a town in much need of economic revitalization after Hurricane Katrina blew ashore in the late summer of 2005. President, Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman dialed in to chat with Cramer about it.
Loveman said it will be a $700 million resort with plenty of new hotel rooms and Simon Property as the retail partner. “We’re going to build a beautiful, new resort right on the beach that I think will cater to the experience that a lot of us remember from Biloxi,” he said.
The Harrah’s boss is also excited about his company going private. Apollo Management and Texas Pacific are set to acquire HET for $90 a share, or about $17 billion. Loveman said as a the CEO of a private company he’ll be better able to focus on creating value for the company through growth opportunities, perfecting its present business plan or cultivating talent within Harrah’s rather than being subject to the whims of the market.
There’s freedom to move, Loveman said, when the market isn’t keeping tabs second by second on the company’s goings on. The proof? Loveman claims that, because the stock price is tied in to the bid price, he’s already operating Harrah’s like a private company, and he has regained about 20% of his work time.
You won’t be able to own this stock soon, Cramer said, but Loveman is doing a great thing for Biloxi – and a great thing for the new owners of Harrah’s.
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