Trump Taj Mahal casino exits bankruptcy

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- The name on the side of the building still says "Trump," but Atlantic City's Taj Mahal casino is now owned by a different billionaire -- Carl Icahn.

See Full Article

The Trump Taj Mahal casino emerged from bankruptcy Friday and was taken over by Icahn, the billionaire investor who now owns two of the city's largest casinos. (He also owns Atlantic City's Tropicana casino).

Trump Entertainment Resorts exited from Chapter 11 protection and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises LP.

The move also extinguished the last remaining 10 per cent ownership stake of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the casino company, even though the Trump Taj Mahal will continue to bear his name.

Trump had not owned or had anything to do with the casino company since 2009 aside from the 10 per cent stake in return for the use of his name.

"The Taj is one of Atlantic City's signature properties," said Icahn, who acquired the Tropicana in a similar fashion from bankruptcy court by buying up its debt at a steep discount, and eventually taking it over.

"Although both Atlantic City and the Taj have had a few tough years, today marks the beginning of the turnaround," he said. "Just a few years ago Tropicana was in bankruptcy and its fate uncertain, but since emerging in 2010, we have turned that property around and it has become one of Atlantic City's few success stories. I am confident we can and will do the same for the Taj."

Icahn has been keeping the casino afloat since it filed for bankruptcy in Sept. 2014. He recently won a key court ruling upholding the company's elimination of health insurance and pension benefits for unionized workers.

Icahn had promised to withdraw financial support for the Taj Mahal if the union succeeded in restoring worker benefits that he considers unaffordable.

Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE casino workers union, has been locked in a bitter battle with Icahn over the Taj takeover that has seen both men criticize each other in unusually personal terms. The union leader called Icahn "a malignancy that needs to be cut out," while Icahn likened McDevitt to a mobster running an extortion racket.

McDevitt said the union has yet to reach a contract agreement with Icahn, but said talks are continuing slowly.

McDevitt said he has not yet seen the bankruptcy court's final order, but expressed hope that relations with the casino's new owner might improve now that Icahn officially owns it.

"Maybe now that Carl Icahn has full possession of the property, he'll start treating the workers the way you would if you have long-term interest in making the property successful," McDevitt said.

McDevitt has led nine public protests against Icahn's handling of the ownership transition of the Taj Mahal, including being arrested for blocking traffic on the Atlantic City Expressway by sitting down in the roadway.

Trump Entertainment's Chief Gaming Executive, Mike Mellon, said, "The company and its employees are excited to have weathered through these tough times and look forward to the return of Trump Taj Mahal to its prominent position in the Atlantic City market."

The casino repeatedly came close to closing since 2014, and ranked seventh out of Atlantic City's eight casinos last year in terms of gambling revenue. The $180.2 million it won last year was down 16.5 per cent from 2014.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • DavidsTea swings to loss on charges but says e-commerce improving

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - DavidsTea Inc. says it swung to a loss in its last quarter as onerous contract charges and impairments weighed on its balance sheet. The specialty tea retailer says it had a loss of $16.1 million for the fourth quarter ending Feb. Source
  • Rogers profit rises by more than a third to $425M

    Economic CBC News
    Rogers Communications Inc. reported a $425 million net profit in its first quarter, up 37 per cent from $310 million in the comparable period last year. The wireless, cable, internet and media company's adjusted earnings grew even more, rising by 45 per cent to $477 million under new accounting rules that Rogers began using in the quarter ended March 31. Source
  • Ottawa's new privacy rules give businesses flexibility on reporting data breaches

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Federal data breach regulations set to take effect Nov. 1 will require mandatory reporting of security breaches that pose a "real risk of significant harm," but give businesses flexibility about how that's done. Source
  • Spat breaks out between Tim Hortons franchisee factions over public complaints

    Economic CBC News
    The Tim Hortons franchisee advisory board is slamming a group representing at least half of the brand's restaurant owners for publicly making complaints about their parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc. In a letter to franchisees obtained by The Canadian Press, the board argues that the comments by the Great White North Franchisee Association criticizing the company in the media and to the federal government is corrosive and damaging to the Tim Hortons brand. Source
  • Acacia Mining production drops 45 per cent as Tanzania troubles persist

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- A subsidiary of Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. says gold production at its Tanzanian operations plunged 45 per cent last quarter as it grappled with export restrictions from the country. London-based miner Acacia Mining, owned 64 per cent by Barrick, says the drop in production resulted from reduced operations at its Bulyanhulu mine and producing mostly from lower-grade stockpiles at its Buzwagi mine. Source
  • Supreme Court beer ruling could apply to Alberta-B.C. pipeline war, experts say

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- A Supreme Court of Canada ruling on bringing beer from Quebec into New Brunswick has implications for the trade war between Alberta and B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Experts say the court seems to be addressing the issue in its decision when it notes that while some trade barriers can be allowed in some circumstances, those designed to punish another province or to protect a local industry would not be permissible. Source
  • High cost of dental services prompting some patients to seek alternative options

    Economic CBC News
    An unaffordable price tag kept Melanie Laxson out of the dentist's chair until the pain became unbearable. With no access to insurance, the 38-year-old says there's no way she could afford the full cost of a dentist. Source
  • Canadian airline profits will fall in 2018 on higher costs: Conference Board

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - The Conference Board of Canada says the growth of the country's airline industry will slow in 2018 as profits are forecast to decrease from last year's peak primarily because of higher fuel and labour prices. Source
  • Commodities volatile on $100 US oil talk

    Economic CBC News
    Talk that Saudi Arabia has its sights on $80-$100 US a barrel oil again and of more U.S. sanctions on Russia ignited a rally in commodities and resource stocks on Thursday, though the potential boost to inflation hit fixed-income assets. Source
  • Commodities rollercoaster on $100 US oil talk, sanctions stress

    Economic CBC News
    Talk that Saudi Arabia has its sights on $80-$100 US a barrel oil again and of more U.S. sanctions on Russia ignited a rally in commodities and resource stocks on Thursday, though the potential boost to inflation hit fixed-income assets. Source