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Harrah's to return to a public listing?

Harrah's to return to a public listing?

The giant US land (and possibly online in the future) gambling group Harrah's Entertainment could return to a public listing three to five years hence, according to speculation by chief executive officer Gary Loveman this week.

Speaking to the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in New York, Loveman emphasised that he was speculating on what the future might hold, but inevitably his comments are being interpreted as fishing for reactions or indicating a move under consideration by the Harrah's board.

Reuters reports that the gambling giant was taken private by TPG and Apollo Management in January 2008, after the two private equity firms bought the hotel/casino company for $31 billion that year.

Although there have been no talks with the private equity groups yet, Loveman said that an IPO (initial public offering) at some future point was a possibility. Harrah's, like most other land casino groups has been hammered by the economic recession.

Loveman said he thought Harrah's would gradually work its way back to a more public position, as opposed to doing it in "one fell swoop."
He added that the company would wait for a few developments, including an economic recovery and the possible legalisation of online poker, before going public.

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