Trump casino shares surge on takeover report

New York (Reuters) – Shares in Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc, which owns three casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, rose more than 16 percent on Friday on a report that the company is in takeover talks.

The Star-Ledger newspaper, citing three people familiar with the talks, reported on Friday that Trump Entertainment was in preliminary talks with Cordish Co., a real estate development firm that was involved in the development of two Hard Rock-branded hotel casinos.

Trump Entertainment declined to comment. Representatives of Cordish were not immediately available for comment.

Donald Trump’s casino company said in July that it failed to reach a deal with potential acquirers and ended discussions to sell itself, disappointing investors.

Trump Entertainment’s three casinos have been struggling along with the rest of Atlantic City, as the seaside gambling resort faces stiffer competition from new gaming facilities in nearby Pennsylvania and New York.

Trump Entertainment’s Chief Executive Mark Juliano told Reuters in an interview in August that the company, which exited bankruptcy in May 2005, had made diversifying beyond Atlantic City a priority, and was open to selling one or more of its casinos at the right price.

But selling the company or assets was not the priority, he said in the interview.

„We’re running the company as if this is the way it’s going to look a year from now or two years from now,“ Juliano said.

Trump Entertainment shares, which are down about 55 percent this year, were up USD 1.14 at USD 8.13 in afternoon trading on Nasdaq.