Beal Bank makes its own bid for 3 Trump casinos

AP News
Posted: Nov 25, 2009 10:06 PM

A Dallas bank that was once allied with Donald Trump in a bid to buy the three Atlantic City Trump casinos out of bankruptcy protection now wants to buy them on its own.

Beal Bank offered Wednesday to convert its $486 million loan to the casinos into equity in Trump Entertainment Resorts.

The move came a week after Donald and Ivanka Trump, who made a joint bid earlier this year with Beal to buy the company, withdrew their support for that deal and instead backed a bid by bondholders to buy the company. Donald Trump would get 10 percent of the company if that plan prevails.

Beal's bid surfaced in a conference call Wednesday with a New Jersey bankruptcy court judge.

"The judge asked both sides to come to a consensual agreement, and that's what we're going to try to do," said Mark Juliano, Trump Entertainment's CEO. "We continue to hope we have enough in common."

In a statement released late Wednesday, a Beal lawyer said the company would emerge from bankruptcy with no debt if its plan were selected.

Another hearing is set before the judge for next Thursday, Juliano said.

Donald and Ivanka Trump, who resigned from the board of the company two days before it filed for Chapter 11 protection in February, tried to buy the company themselves and take it private. They were offering $114 million with Beal Bank, and were locked in a battle with bondholders for control of the company.

Before the Trumps switched allegiances last week, the bondholders had increased their offer to $225 million.

Trump Entertainment had favored the Trumps' plan, saying it would have left the company with more cash to work with, and that the bondholders' plan used too much cash to pay down debt.

The company owns three Atlantic City casinos: Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino.