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Caesars' creditors get more time to assess bankruptcy exit plan

(Corrects time in third paragraph)

By Tracy Rucinski

CHICAGO, May 2 (Reuters) - Creditors of the bankrupt operating unit of Caesars Entertainment Corp will have an additional 15 days to decide if they object to the casino company's bankruptcy exit plan, which still lacks key details, a judge ruled on Monday.

"It's hard to shoot a moving target," U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin Goldgar said at an emergency hearing before postponing the deadline for creditor objections to May 17.

He was responding to junior creditors' complaints in a court filing that the plan omits "virtually all of the information that creditors actually care about." Objections to the plan were initially due on Monday at 4 p.m. CDT.

At the heart of the uncertainty is how much Caesars, backed by private equity groups Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital Management, will contribute to its unit's reorganization.

The reorganization plan envisions splitting the bankrupt unit into an operating company and a real estate investment trust (REIT).

Creditors have accused the parent of stripping the operating unit of its best hotel and casino assets prior to a $18 billion bankruptcy filing in January 2015 and are demanding compensation.

Caesars has denied the allegations.

A court-appointed examiner found in March that Caesars could be on the hook for between $3.6 billion and $5.1 billion for pre-bankruptcy transactions.

Retired U.S. Judge Joseph Farnan is leading a separate mediation process to help the feuding parties reach a settlement. Farnan had urged the unit to omit certain numbers and values from the bankruptcy exit plan to facilitate talks.

Junior creditors said they needed at least 10 days to evaluate that information after it is disclosed. Creditors had expected the missing details by April 22 but are still waiting.

"Like the creditors, we are keenly interested in the plan from the debtors," lawyer Thomas Kreller said on behalf of parent Caesars at the hearing on Monday.

Goldgar set a May 17 objection deadline for the new plan, meaning that the Caesars unit should file more detailed information by May 7. He postponed a hearing on the plan by one week to May 25, despite protests by the unit's lawyers who are keen to keep a proposed schedule to emerge from bankruptcy on track.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; editing by Tom Hals and Cynthia Osterman)