Trump casinos get extension on debt

Jan 22, 2009 3:00 AM
Staff & Wire Reports |

Donald Trump's casino company has two more weeks to perfect the art of the new deal with its investors.

Otherwise, the debt-laden casino empire could be headed for a third spin through bankruptcy court.

Mark Juliano, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, said the company reached agreement with its bond holders Wednesday to extend the deadline through Feb. 4 on restructuring $1.25 billion worth of debt.

The company skipped its December payment to bond holders, as it was permitted to do under its lending agreement. The company entered into talks with the bond holders on restructuring $1.25 billion worth of debt.

It got an extension on Dec. 31 that was to run through today.

Many analysts believe if the debt is not restructured to give the company more breathing room, it will have to seek protection in bankruptcy court.

Juliano would not characterize how close the two sides are, or say if he is optimistic a new deal can be struck.

"We should read into this that discussions are ongoing and progressing," he said. "They (the bond holders) feel that during this period of time they're willing to have discussions continue, and we're happy they are continuing."

Trump Entertainment owns three Atlantic City casinos: The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort; Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Trump Marina Hotel and Casino, which it is in the process of selling to Richard Fields, a former protégé of Donald Trump.

That $270 million deal is expected to be completed by spring. But the price had to be slashed last fall from $316 million to keep it from falling through.

Fields plans to re-brand the casino as "Margaritaville" in conjunction with singer Jimmy Buffett's marketing venture.

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