AC Trop going to bid

Feb 13, 2008 2:43 AM

Tropicana Casino trustee Gary Stein said last week that bidding for the Atlantic City Boardwalk casino would begin Feb. 18.

The Tropicana has been on the block since the New Jersey Casino Control Commission stripped former owner Columbia-Sussex Corp. of its operating license in December and appointed Stein in charge of finding a suitable buyer for the casino.

"My goal is to get a contract by the end of April and to close on the sale by the end of June," Stein said.

During a roundtable with reporters inside a luxury suite at the Tropicana’s Havana Tower, Stein said a draft Offer Memorandum would be completed this week by financial advisors from Bear Stearns Cos. Inc., who are assisting him in vetting the bidders. It would be mailed to over two dozen prospective bidders, who would be asked to sign confidentiality agreements next week.

So far, Colony Capital Acquisitions L.L.C. of Los Angeles has formally offered $850 million, and New York developer Joseph Palladino has offered $950 million. Stein said those were the only two hard offers on the table so far.