Human Capital & Careers

Private Equity Pays Out at Harrah’s

The largest going-private deal for a publicly held casino would also go very well for the company's top two executives.
Stephen TaubFebruary 9, 2007

Gary W. Loveman, chief executive officer of Harrah’s Entertainment, will receive at least $94 million in compensation if two private-equity firms complete their buyout of the casino company, according to a regulatory filing. Chief financial officer and treasurer Jonathan S. Halkyard stands to earn more than $5.1 million.

In December, Harrah’s agreed to a deal in which Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management Group would pay $17.1 billion, and assume about $10.7 billion of debt, in what would be the largest going-private deal for a publicly held casino, according to published accounts.

Upon consummation of the buyout, Loveman will receive $80.3 million from stock options to be cancelled and cashed out, plus $8.8 million from stock-appreciation rights and $4.9 million worth of restricted shares.

If the deal does not close by June 29, one-third of Loveman’s stock-appreciation rights will vest the following day, and if it does not close by December 31, all of his restricted shares will vest on January 1.

Both Loveman and Halkyard are expected to retain their jobs. However, Loveman will receive $18.9 million in severance if he leaves the company within a year after the buyout is completed, even if he departs voluntarily.

Halkyard will receive $4.5 million from vested options and $616,000 from stock-appreciations rights. He will receive $3.4 million in severance if he is terminated without cause during the six months prior to the closing of the deal or within two years afterward, or if he resigns for “good reason” within that two-year period.