Trump Will Sell Casino for $316M

Coastal Marina, an affiliate company of privately-held Coastal Development, announced that it has come to an agreement with Trump Entertainment Resorts and will purchase the 14-acre Trump Marina Hotel Casino property for $316 million. This agreement includes a reportedly non-returnable deposit of $15 million on the part of the buyer, a large incentive to complete the deal. Coastal Development has plans, after the closing is final, to retrofit the entire resort and rebrand it as Margaritaville. The Trump Marina Hotel Casino property now includes a 27-story hotel building with some 700 guest rooms, about 58,000 square feet of convention, ballroom spaces, a 540-seat theater, a nightclub, six restaurants, a health spa and pool, tennis courts, basketball court, a jogging track, a roof-top pad for a helicopter, a 9-story parking garage for about 3,000 cars. The 14-acre property of the Trump Marina is not located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, but in the nearby Marina district.Noted Charlie Leonard of Coastal Development, “I think Coastal Development got a pretty good price, when you consider the underlying value of the real estate involved.” The deal is the culmination of months of negotiations. Regulatory approvals with New Jersey gaming officials are yet to be obtained. The company has stated a goal to try to get the closing done by late 2008. Carlton Geer, Executive Vice-President CP Richard Ellis Inc.’s global gaming group, told CPN, “The purchase price of $316 million represents full value for the property, about ten times estimated 2007 EBITDA. Because Atlantic City revenues are under pressure from the opening of Pennsylvania slot parlors, and smoking ban in Atlantic City . This represents a higher than ten time multiple of anticipated 2008 and 2009 earnings. Trump is about to open their Taj Mahal Towers, and they are probably waiting to see the impact on their earnings. To the extent that they are going to accrete to earnings, this may motivate Trump to invest more in upgrades in their Atlantic City facilities. Otherwise they will probably be using the proceeds to buy-down their debt.”Other recent Atlantic City deals include the sale of Tropicana’s Casino Aztar to Reno-based Eldorado Resorts, valued at about $245 million, as reported by CPN earlier this month. Said Michael Parks, first vice president for CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s global gaming group, at that time, “Investors are still interested in entering gaming markets, but they want assets with current cash flow, as opposed to taking the risk of ground-up development.” Trump Marina came close to bottom in a recent survey by wealthy Americans. The New York City based Luxury Institute’s released just yesterday their survey of the Most Prestigious Casinos including 29 top casinos. Trump Marina came in with Bally Las Vegas at a tie for 25th place. Luxury Institute’s CEO Milton Pedraza was reported as saying that these are “difficult times for the gaming industry.” Latham & Watkins, led by partner Raymond Lin, and Bear Stearns & Co., led by senior managing director Kenneth Shea, respectively, provided legal counsel and financial advisory services to Fields and Coastal Marina in connection with the transaction. Weil, Gotshal & Manges L.L.P., led by partners J. Philip Rosen and Malcolm Landau, and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc, led by managing director Ragavan Bala, respectively, provided legal counsel and financial advisory services to Trump Entertainment Resorts in connection with the transaction. Coastal Development finances and runs resort destinations, luxury hotels and casino gaming facilities. Coastal Development is owned by Richard Fields. Fields owns Jackson Land and Cattle, a ranching company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is the co-developer of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida. Coastal Development is also the largest shareholder of Suffolk Downs’s racetrack in Boston , Massachusetts. Trump Entertainment Resorts owns the businesses of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which are both located on the Boardwalk at Atlantic City. Trump Entertainment Resorts, separate from Trump’s other real estate holdings, is used specifically to manage and operate gaming activities.