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Tropicana Entertainment LLC To Sell off Casino Aztar

On August 25th, 2008, Tropicana Entertainment LLC has decided to auction one of their riverboat casinos after delaying the proposed $220 million sale for months. The organization is seeking approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., to overhaul the Evansville, Ind., Casino Aztar, which it has been trying to sell since 2007. On March 2007, Tropicana agreed to sell the casino facility to Reno, Nev., hotel and casino gaming operator Eldorado Resorts LLC for $220 million, but filed for bankruptcy before the sale could be accomplished. The future of the casino has been in question ever since.

Earlier this month, Eldorado petitioned a judge to force Tropicana Casino to decide on whether or not they really want to sell their assets. But in the end, it did not take an order from a judge to get Tropicana to decide on whether or not to sell their assets. The company recently asked for permission to put their casino assets on the sale, with the hope of getting a larger bid than Eldorado's offer. Tropicana Chief Executive Scott Butera said that the overall outlook of the organization is dramatically changed when they entered into that agreement. He added that they have tried to change some things that are not working.

The biggest change that happened on the company has been the removal of owner of William J. Yung III last month on a settlement with its creditors. William Yung was found unfit to manage Tropicana's Atlantic City, New Jersey casino in December, pushing the state to take back the gaming license of the company. With a new management team, Mr. Scott Butera is hoping that prospective buyers of the casino will view the organization in a more fair light. Mr. Butera said that Tropicana's financial advisers from investment bank Lazard Freres and Co. are starting to talk with potential buyers of the casino.

If another bidders edges out El Dorado's $220 million offer, the Nevada organization will receive $6.6 million in breakup costs plus up to $500,000 in expense reimbursements. The bankruptcy court is set to study another auction request on September 16th, 2008. Tropicana wants to hold the auction the week of November 10th, followed by a November 18th sale hearing. Scott Butera would not say the cost the casino is hoping to reach for the facility but he said that Tropicana is still considering keeping the casino if the auction results are not what they are hoping for.


09/02/2008 05:55 PM
Davis Coulter