Park Place Entertainment Set To Buy
Claridge Hotel & Casino
ANGELES, CA - Feb 15 (Reuters) - Billionaire financier Carl Icahn
has sold his 43.6 percent stake in first mortgage notes for the
bankrupt Claridge casino to Park Place Entertainment Corp., ending
a bidding war between the two sides for the property and paving
the way for a sale to Park Place.
In a February
13 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Icahn disclosed
that Park Place purchased his first mortgage notes for the Atlantic
City property for $21.6 million in cash.
As part of the
exchange, two Icahn-controlled entities also received Park Place's
14.5 percent share of first mortgage notes on the formerly bankrupt
Sands hotel in Atlantic City, which was taken over by Icahn last
year after a similar bidding war between Icahn and Park Place.
In the Claridge
deal, Park Place also contributed nearly 780,000 shares or the 7.8
percent stake it held in GB Holdings Inc., the Icahn-controlled
owner of the Sands that was bidding against Park Place for the Claridge.
of the Claridge bonds by Park Place paves the way for the Las Vegas-based
company to buy the Claridge, which has been operating in Chapter
11 bankruptcy for the last year and a half. Park Place has offered
to buy the Claridge in an all-cash deal worth about $82 million.
had offered $81 million for the property, mostly in stock, but withdrew
its bid on Feb. 5.
With Park Place
now the uncontested bidder, a deal in bankruptcy court could now
close as early as May, according to people familiar with the situation.
excited about the prospects for the Claridge
Hotel and Casino in the future,'' said Park Place Chief Financial
Officer Scott LaPorta.
After a deal
closes, Park Place is expected to run the Claridge, which was originally
a hotel during Atlantic City's heyday as a summer resort, as it
is without rennovating it or tearing it down to make room for a