Atlantic City: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: It's Donald Trump. The real estate mogul and reality TV star, his daughter Ivanka, and Dallas-based Beal Bank successfully fought off competition from bondholders in bankruptcy court to purchase the Atlantic City casino company he once ran and that has always borne his name.
Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. chose Donald Trump's USD 100 million cash offer late Monday night. The Trumps and an affiliate of Beal Bank Nevada will take the company private.
The deal still must be approved by a bankruptcy judge.
The Donald's bid trumped a competing bid backed by bondholders, whose refusal to deal with Trump in February led him to resign as chairman of the company and launch a drive to regain power.
Ironically, Trump regained control of the company the same way he lost it four years ago — through bankruptcy. He was forced to relinquish operational control of the company and its three casinos as part of its emergence from its second bankruptcy in 2005.
"My previous investment in the company was destroyed by excessive and restrictive debt," Trump said. "This reorganization changes all that. I am pleased that the reorganization affords me an opportunity to make a new investment and help revive a company that has borne my name, but not performed to my standards or been under my management."
"My daughter Ivanka and I will work tirelessly to make this company great again," he said. "As I have done in the past, we will make Atlantic City hot once more."
Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February — the third time the company or its previous incarnations had done so.
Its petition listed USD 2.06 billion in assets and more than USD 1.74 billion in liabilities. Ivanka Trump said the new company, which she expected to keep the same name, would carry about USD 486 million in debt — far from the USD 1.7 billion that forced it into bankruptcy earlier this year.
"This is a great day," she said. "We are very excited about being back in Atlantic City."
She and her father had resigned from the company in February after bondholders spurned his offer to buy the company.
Crushing debt has long held the Trump casinos back in dealing with the rapidly changing Atlantic City market, which is dominated by newer high-end casinos like the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.
In recent years, the company has concentrated on its largest and newest casino, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino resort, which now ranks among Atlantic City's better performers. But the company's other two casinos, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino, have lagged.
Last week, New York developer Richard Fields, who had planned to buy Trump Marina, sued the company, claiming Trump Entertainment let the property deteriorate so badly that no lender would finance it.
First Published: Tuesday, August 04, 2009, 14:34