Last week almost 10% of Harrah’s shares of ownership were registered with the FCC. Immediate thoughts were that the company would be going public, but that isn’t likely right away.
The SEC form used to register those shares, called an S-1, is the same one used as the first step toward an initial public offering, or IPO. Based on the S-1 filing Thursday, The Wall Street Journal erroneously reported that Harrah’s was planning an IPO.
The registration, made on behalf of hedge-fund manager John Paulson, does not necessarily mean those shares will be sold on public markets. The decision to trade Harrah’s shares publicly rests with company management, which has indicated no immediate plans to do so.
John Paulson is a billionaire investor who made a ton of money betting against sub prime mortgages when the real estate bubble crashed. He will do something with his 10% ownership of Harrah’s, but the 4th quarter isn’t the best time for an IPO so I look for him to be patient and time this perfectly. He has enough loot stashed where he doesn’t have to rush things. At the first moment of clean air he’ll be ready to move.