LONDON-The Harrah’s takeover of London Clubs International moved a step closer to finalizing after the Las Vegas casino operator reached a deal with Genting, LCI’s principal shareholder.

Harrah’s raised its original 125p-a-share offer to 135p a share, and in return Genting, which holds a 29.6% stake in LCI, has agreed to accept the bid. The improved offer represents an 8% increase on Harrah’s original euro 417-million ($524-million) offer, a 36.6% premium on LCI’s share price of 98.8p prior to the original offer. Its acquisition of Genting’s stake takes acceptances for the Harrah’s takeover to 34.4%. Other shareholders in both companies were waiting to see what Genting would do before committing themselves.

The deal between is now expected to be followed by other shareholders falling into line behind the deal. The revised offer will become unconditional when acceptances have reached 75%, as opposed to the 90% threshold in the terms of the original offer.

LCI operates seven casinos in the UK and has four under development. It also operates two in Egypt, one in South Africa and has a relationship with a casino in Lebanon.

Harrah’s bid for LCI blocked plans by Genting to merge LCI and Stanley Leisure, the two UK casino operators in which it held significant stakes. LCI chairman Michael Beckett says the agreement “removes the principal uncertainty for other LCI shareholders. There is a great fit between these two businesses, and the logic for the deal is compelling for all LCI shareholders.”

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