Friday March 13,2015 : JUDGE BURNS DELAYS BANKRUPTCY DECISION (Update)
And Revel owners claim that 19 new approaches to buy have been made – with at least two serious offers.
The attempted sale of the two-year-old Revel Casino Resort building in Atlantic City, built at a cost of $2.4 billion but now on the bankruptcy block for around $82 million was subjected to a further delay Thursday as Judge Gloria Burns declined to rule immediately on the issue.
Florida developer Glenn Straub has paid over a deposit of $10 million, with the balance of his offer held in escrow, but missed the closing date for the sale, sending the issue back to the bankruptcy court.
Complicating the issue was a late bid by Los Angeles property developer Izek Shomof, who is prepared to pay $80 million, and a new bidder from New York, private equity investor Jeffrey Keating, who told the Associated Press news agency that if successful he would re-hire Revel staff, honour the leases of current leaseholders in the building and ensure the power dispute was resolved.
Keating apparently wants to retain the casino operation, and add amusement rides to the resort side of the business.
All told, Revel's investment bankers have reportedly received nineteen expressions of interest, although at least seven of these are unlikely to bear fruit due to a lack of identity validation and general unsuitability.
For now, Straub is the only current bidder who has put his money down and presented a bona fide offer, but he is presumably on tenterhooks waiting to see whether the judge will approve a sale to him…and whether Revel still wants to accept it.
On Thursday Judge Burns advised that she was not yet convinced that the sale to Straub was the best option available to Revel, and that more time could possibly be used in the hope of a better offer coming forward.
She also hinted that it may be advisable to appoint a bankruptcy trustee to call the shots on the Revel side following evidence from chief Revel financer Wells Fargo that it is not prepared to continue funding the case indefinitely.
Thomas Kreller, representing Wells Fargo, urged Judge Burns to allow the Straub sale to go through, saying that at present there really was nothing else out there.
“The $82 million is the bird in the hand. Quite frankly, there is nothing in the bush,” Kreller suggested.