Cordish leads bids for Atlantic City Tropicana

Los Angeles (Reuters) – New Jersey casino regulators said on Tuesday that negotiations were under way to sell Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino and Resort to real estate developer Cordish Co for cash and securities totaling USD 700 million.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission said in a statement that the trustees overseeing the property — retired state Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein and investment bank Moelis & Co — had identified Cordish as a leading bidder for a number of reasons, including the company’s track record and the offered price.

Stein was appointed by the state to oversee the casino after regulators refused to renew the license of its former owner, Columbia Sussex Corp. The decision was based on complaints ranging from massive layoffs to problems with service and cleanliness, leading the state to seek a sale.

Under the proposed transaction, Cordish would acquire substantially all of the assets of Adamar, which consist primarily of the Tropicana Casino & Resort.

Stein expects to ask the commission for approval to designate Cordish as the lead bidder. The transaction is also subject to completion of a definitive asset purchase agreement, approval of the commission, and various other conditions.

Cordish last year came close to acquiring Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc, which owns three casinos in Atlantic City, but those talks reportedly fell apart in November.