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Caesars shares surge on stock offering

NEW YORK (AP) -- Caesars Entertainment Corp. shares surged Wednesday after the company's new online gambling business said it would sell up to $1.18 billion in stock.

Under the plan, Caesars Entertainment shareholders will receive the right to buy one share of Caesars Acquisition Co. stock for each of their Caesars Entertainment shares, for a total of up to 125.4 million shares.

The new company's shares were priced at $9.43 each.

The company did not set a date for the offering in its Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

In afternoon trading, Caesars shares jumped $1.88, or 13 percent, to $16.03 after peaking at $16.36 earlier in the session. Since the beginning of this year, Caesars shares have more than doubled.

Individuals affiliated with investment firms Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Global LLC, which own a combined 70 percent of Caesars stock, have informed the company that they plan to buy at least $500 million of the new company's stock, which would give them a 42 percent stake, Caesars said.

Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Acquisition plan to form a joint venture to be called Caesars Growth Partners, which will focus on acquiring assets related to both online and land-based gambling.

The joint venture is expected to include Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc., which operates social and mobile games, the World Series of Poker and legal online gambling.

It also will operate a property and development business that will include Caesars Entertainment's existing interests in Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, along with a casino to be developed in Baltimore and other investments.

Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment owns or manages more than 50 casinos, most of them in the U.S. and Britain. In addition to its Las Vegas and Atlantic City, N.J., resorts, Caesars operates properties in 11 states and six other countries.