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Don’t count on Aladdin sale

Jan 21, 2003 7:11 AM

Rumors continue to swirl at the bankrupt Aladdin. But don’t bet on a sale anytime soon.

Sources tell GamingToday that nothing is likely to happen until March 30 — and probably not even then.

That’s the deadline Bankruptcy Judge Clive Jones set for offers. But insiders say Jones will extend that date and leave London Clubs International in charge of vetting deals.

"As long as cash flow is positive, the status will stay quo,’’ says one well-connected source. "Lenders have no intention of taking a haircut on their loans.’’

  A lengthy list of suitors -- including Colony Capital, Pinnacle Gaming, Marriott International, Planet Hollywood, Starwood and, allegedly, Irish jig-meister Michael Flatley — has expressed varying degrees of interest in the 3,000-room Strip resort since it declared bankruptcy 16 months ago.

GamingToday also reported last month that Aladdin execs, headed by President Bill Timmons, deep-sixed a $616 million buyout offer from a consortium of three veteran gamers.

With London Clubs — not Judge Jones -- at the controls, the prospects for a deal seem distant.

"Jones (who oversaw bankruptcy proceedings at the Resort at Summerlin) subjected that property to open bidding and he now feels that lenders and creditors were severely damaged as a result,’’ the source says.

Meantime, the Aladdin has actually been upgrading. A small theater was recently built, along with a wedding chapel.

"The thinking is that this is a bad time for a sale. The market is down. The economy is soft. So leave it on the back burner and wait for prices to rise,’’ an industry observer said.