Revel Casino Sold For $95.4 Million, Well Maybe Not!January 6, 2015 4:08 pm
On Monday, bankruptcy Judge Gloria Burns approved the sale of New Jersey’s Revel Casino Hotel to Glenn Straub (photo) for $95.4 million, even though the Florida developer’s lawyer had suggested that the price tag should have been reduced to $87 million on account of a previously tainted auction process lacking in transparency. In the fall, Straub’s initial bid of $95.4 million was originally beaten by Brookfield Asset Management’s offer of $110 million, but the Toronto-based company subsequently pulled out of the deal leading to the court turning to Mr. Straub as the runner-up bidder.
Responding to Straub’s request for a reduction in price, Judge Burns said: “I get it. Everybody wants to pay as little as they can.. The issues that you brought up are pretty much the same issues. You haven’t shown me any actual conflict.”
Even though paying $95.4 million for the sale would represent a 96% reduction on the original $2.4 billion it took to build the sprawling Revel resort, Straub’s attorney indicated he was ready to appeal the ruling, and that his client may be prepared to reject the deal altogether. This has created an unusual situation in which Glenn Straub’s Polo North business is objecting to its own sale, and as Revel attorney John Cunningham commented:
“I think in my 23 years of practicing bankruptcy law this is my first time to see that.”
This most recent bizarre incident just goes to show how nothing seems to go easy in New Jersey’s beleaguered gambling industry, and in 2014 alone Atlantic City lost four of its original 12 casinos to bankruptcy, while a fifth, the Trump Taj Mahal, has only remained open after being handed a $20 million lifeline from Carl Icahn, who holds the mortgage for the Trump Plaza. Interestingly, the Trump Plaza opened in 1984 at a cost of $210 million, and recently Icahn refused to let the property be sold for around $20 million, or roughly one-tenth of its original building cost.