arl Icahn won court permission to compete with Donald Trump for the votes of creditors who will help decide the fate of the bankrupt gambling company that bears Trump’s name.
The sale was on a Monday list of deals that have won approval from antitrust regulators. The Federal Trade Commission puts the list out several times a week.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Wizmur agreed with Icahn’s attorney, who argued that both reorganization plans should go to creditors at the same time for a vote. After that vote is tallied, Wizmur will hold a hearing next year on the two competing reorganization proposals and make the final decision about who should own the company.
Icahn agreed to spend us$ 500 million to buy Trump Entertainment debt after Trump abandoned a deal with the casino company’s primary lender, Beal Bank, said Icahn attorney Edward Weisfelner in court today.
Tropicana filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2008. It also owns the Tropicana Casino & Resort on the Las Vegas strip. In May the company said it would emerge from bankruptcy, in part due to us$ 150 million in exit financing from Icahn.
On Friday, Icahn said he had teamed up with Beal Bank to present a restructuring plan for bankrupt Trump Entertainment Resorts. “Trump jumped ship at the last minute and left Mr. Beal standing at the altar,” Weisfelner said, referring to bank owner Andy Beal, a Dallas businessman who has been a high-stakes poker player.
Trump Entertainment’s three casinos filed for bankruptcy protection in February, blaming a high debt load and falling revenue. Trump, who once owned 29 % of the company, resigned from the board days before it filed for protection from creditors for at least the second time.
Beal Bank was working with Trump to reorganize the gambling company until last month, when the reality television show celebrity announced that he and his daughter Ivanka would support a competing plan from bondholders.