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Deal pending to acquire Atlantic City-based Trump Marina Hotel Casino

Atlantic City, New Jersey is well known throughout the nation as a gambling destination. The city plays home to 11 casino hotels, the worst performing of which is Trump Marina Hotel Casino. Trump Marina is owned by Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. and has been on the market for many years. Though a 2008 deal between Trump and Costal Marina LLC to sell the hotel casino was just the latest in a long list of potential deals on the property to fall apart into a legal tailspin, Trump is not to proud to keep trying to sell.

Houston-based Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. has been named as the potential buyer of Trump Marina. The company currently owns portions of the Golden Nugget casino chain in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada, as well as the Claim Jumper restaurant group on the West Coast and Rainforest Café restaurant chain locations throughout the country. The business acquisition deal is currently in the “due diligence” phase where the potential buyer has the right to place the business up for purchase under intense financial scrutiny to assess its financial health.

Renewed interest in the purchase of hotel casinos in Atlantic City is undoubtedly due in part to Governor Chris Christie’s legislative package signed into law last week, easing regulations on casinos in New Jersey to stimulate the state’s economy. The package also serves to create a Tourism District run by the state for the purpose of increasing government oversight on Atlantic City casinos.

The aforementioned 2008 tentative deal between Trump and Costal Marina came at the height of the Atlantic City real estate boom. Originally set at $316 million, the deal deteriorated to $270 before it was cancelled altogether in 2009. A lawsuit over the aborted sale that included allegations of fraud and breach of contract was eventually settled between the two companies. Trump’s 2010 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing gave Costal Marina the opportunity to buy Trump Marina for a paltry $75 million, though Costal expressed their disinterest in the property and took no action to make a purchase.

If all proceeds as planned, a deal between Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. and Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. involving the acquisition of the business is expected to be announced later this month.

Source: “Owner of Golden Nugget casinos near deal to buy Trump Marina” 2/9/11

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