Bid for Harrahs raised to over $15 bn

Two private equity firms, the Apollo Management Group and the Texas Pacific Group, have sweetened their bid for Harrah’s Entertainment (HET), the world’s largest casino operator, to more than $15.5 billion.That’s according to people involved in the negotiations on Tuesday night, The New York Times reported in its Wednesday editions.

The new offer, submitted this week in a letter to Harrah’s board, came after the company’s directors rejected the equity group’s initial offer of $15.05 billion in cash, or $81 a share, these people said.

The Times reported that the revised bid is worth $83 to $84 a share, these people said. Harrah’s board has not formally responded to the new offer, but the company’s advisers have signaled to Apollo and Texas Pacific that the offer will need to be even higher.

A spokesman for Texas Pacific declined to comment; spokesmen for Harrah’s and Apollo could not be reached for comment.