Trump aims to retake control of casinos, by Wayne
Parry - 16th June 2009
N.J. (AP) — As the casino company that bore
his name sank deeper and deeper into the red this
year, Donald Trump went head to head with bondholders
trying to buy it and take it private — and
Now the real estate mogul, whose distaste for
losing is legendary, is back in the ring and pushing
a plan to buy Trump Entertainment Resorts out
To succeed, he'll have to beat out a competing
offer advanced by the bondholders.
The three Atlantic City casinos owned by Trump
Entertainment still bear his name, but that's
the extent of Donald Trump's involvement with
them right now. He had to relinquish day-to-day
control of the company following a 2004 bankruptcy
— the second of three the company would
When his offer to buy the company and take it
private was spurned in February by board members
allied with bondholders, Trump resigned as chairman,
saying his stock was now "worthless to me."
His daughter, Ivanka, also resigned from the company's
Mark Juliano, the company's CEO, said Tuesday
the board will weigh the two competing offers
for the company and does not plan to formulate
one of its own.
Neither plan has been filed with the court so
the terms of both remain confidential.
Donald Trump's offer is in partnership with Dallas-based
Beal Bank, run by Andy Beal, a close friend.
Juliano would not comment in detail on either
proposal, other than to say both seek to reduce
the company's debt to levels that can be supported
by its reduced cash flow.
He would not specify a target number for the debt
level beyond saying it is below the current $1.7
"We're looking for a plan that represents
the opportunity to have an appropriate balance
sheet and allows the company to generate enough
cash to support its leverage, which it hasn't
been able to do in the past," Juliano said.
Two past Trump bankruptcy reorganizations have
failed largely because they did not eliminate
enough debt to make the company competitive in
the cutthroat Atlantic City market. That competition
is more fierce now than ever with slots parlors
in Pennsylvania and New York draining away loyal
customers and revenue.
For the first five months of this year, Atlantic
City casino winnings are down 15.7 percent.
Both Donald Trump and Erez Gilad, an attorney
for the bondholders, declined comment Tuesday.
On Tuesday, a bankruptcy court judge gave the
company an extra 45 days to consider the plans,
but Juliano predicted it would not take that long
to decide on one.
Juliano also said there are no current offers
to buy Trump Marina Hotel Casino. A deal to sell
the struggling gambling hall to Richard Fields,
a New York developer who was once a protege of
Donald Trump, fell through this month.
He said both purchase plans submitted to the Trump
Entertainment board envision the company having
three casinos in Atlantic City.
Man Australia does not represent Trump Entertainment
or Donald Trump