Icahn puts Sands on sales block

Aug 22, 2006 3:58 AM

Court documents show that billionaire investor Carl Icahn is negotiating to sell the Sands Hotel & Casino, according to a report published last week.

The disclosure came in a July 12 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for GB Holdings Inc., which now holds a minority share of the Sands, the smallest of the 12 Atlantic City casinos.

"They want to sell. They’re just trying to complete a transaction," GB Holdings lawyer Gary M. Schildhorn told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith H. Wizmur in Camden.

Icahn lawyer James W. Stoll told the judge that the potential buyer should not be named while negotiations continue.

"At the moment, this is a negotiation over a potential acquisition," Stoll said.

GB Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year after defaulting on a bond payment.

Bondholders, who want details about a possible sale, are challenging a deal that transferred control of the Sands from GB Holdings to Atlantic Coast Entertainment Holdings Inc., an Icahn affiliate. GB Holdings now has a 41 percent share of the Sands.

A Sands spokeswoman, Teddie O’Keefe, told The Press of Atlantic City that a sale is among choices being considered.

"We are in meetings and discussions and the options are plenty. We’re going to consider every possibility," O’Keefe said.

Icahn took control of the Sands in 2000. In May, he bought the site of the Traymore Hotel, which would give the Sands oceanfront property.