Monday, October 02, 2006

Harrah’s Being Bought Out, Joins HCA

Harrah’s Entertainment, the world’s largest casino company is being purchased by two investment houses for $15 billion. Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group are going together to take Harrah’s private. The deal is smaller than the record $33 billion three different investment houses are spending to take HCA private. It is the largest for-profit hospital company.

Ex-Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle sits on the board of Apollo. Dr. Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader, is closely connected with HCA. His father started the company and his brother Tommy is one of the major players in the deal.

Another private equity firm is The Carlyle Group. They formed two new divisions this past year, one for health care and the other for public infrastructure. Their insider political connections are infamous. Look on almost any major government advisory group and you will find a Carlyle representative. The Council on Foreign Relations has one, while the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research has the same Carlyle co-founder.

Carlyle’s business address on Pennsylvania Avenue is convenient for keeping up with old friends in the White House or in the Capital. Their $44.3 billion in investments means they could swallow parts of either deal, but not both. At least not yet!

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