Revel says no one else has come forward to bid on casino
ATLANTIC CITY (AP) — Atlantic City's former Revel casino acknowledges it has no one to turn to but a Florida developer whose bids to buy the shuttered gambling hall have repeatedly fallen apart.
A court filing Friday by Revel AC indicates that in nearly three additional weeks of entertaining would-be buyers, no new parties were willing to put up money for a bid. In the filing, Revel asks Judge Gloria Burns to approve — yet again — the proposed sale of the $2.4 billion casino to Glenn Straub's Polo North Country Club for $82 million.
Those are the same terms as a deal Burns said earlier this month she lacks jurisdiction to approve, in part because they substantially changed from an earlier sale she had blessed.
Revel and Straub want the latest deal treated as a new sale request, with a full hearing on the numerous objections from former business tenants, a power plant and other creditors that helped derail three other deals.
"The Polo North (sale) remains the highest and best — and only — definitive purchase agreement available to the debtors after an exhaustive and costly nine-month sale process," the casinos owners wrote in a motion asking Burns to approve the sale.
No hearing date has yet been set. When one is, however, there are certain to be numerous objections from former tenants at the casino, including celebrity restaurants, nightclubs and Revel's only supplier of heat and air conditioning, hot water and electricity. Their objections and appeals have proven to be a major obstacle to closing a sale of the property, which shut down Sept. 2, and never turned a profit in just over two years of operation.
Revel says the proposed "new" sale is "substantially identical" to the one Burns declined to approve on March 13. Straub has already put the entire $82 million purchase price into an escrow account and would still abide by the same March 31 closing date.
It also says if the judge does not approve the sale to Straub, it may be forced to liquidate the property by converting the Chapter 11 case to a Chapter 7 proceeding in which the assets could be sold off piecemeal.
Revel's filing references several other potential parties that expressed interest in the casino. But it says each of them either contained many contingencies, would require long buyer inquiries before a deal could be reached, or "lacked any meaningful evidence of financial wherewithal."
Nineteen other would-be purchasers have expressed interest in Revel, but only Straub put any money up.
The latest Straub proposal would mark the fourth would-be sale of the casino. A $110 million deal to Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management fell apart in November. Straub's $95.4 million deal died when he missed a Feb. 9 deadline to close on it. Last month, Straub and Revel inked the first $82 million deal that the judge found herself unable to approve.
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