Las Vegas Sun

July 26, 2014

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Tropicana Atlantic City sale agreement approved

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission announced today that it unanimously approved an agreement of sale reached by Tropicana Atlantic City and a group of investors led by Carl Icahn. It also authorized the casino’s trustee to take the property into bankruptcy court.

The purchase agreement was filed by Icahn and lenders on April 17 and set $200 million as the minimum bid for the casino. The 98-page document was released by the state Casino Control Commission last week.

The purchase agreement sets Icahn and investors as the minimum bidder, or “stalking horse,” in the upcoming bankruptcy auction.

Tropicana filed for voluntary Chapter 11 relief on Wednesday to proceed with the auction. The bidding procedures, if approved, would require interested parties to submit bids within 30 days. An auction will be held within a week of the bid deadline.

The commission also extended the deadline for selling the property to the end of the year. April 30 was the most recent date in a series of extensions.

The Tropicana Atlantic City has been for sale since former owner William Yung was deemed unqualified to run a casino in New Jersey. The commission voted not to renew Tropicana’s casino license, which was formerly held by Adamar of New Jersey.

Tropicana Entertainment, which owns Tropicana Las Vegas and formerly owned Tropicana Atlantic City, filed for bankruptcy in May 2008 after it defaulted on nearly $2.7 billion in bonds. The company said without the New Jersey property, it couldn’t afford to pay its debt.

The state appointed New Jersey Supreme Court Judge Gary Stein as the property’s conservator and trustee to oversee the sale.

Baltimore-based Cordish Company emerged in the fall as the leading bidder to purchase the property for $700 million but negotiations fell through.

The Tropicana will remain open and running during the sale process.

The beachfront Tropicana Atlantic City has 2,100 rooms and more than 200,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space.

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