Icahn reportedly seeks MGM Mirage bankruptcy

Las Vegas (AP) – Billionaire Carl Icahn and an investment fund believe MGM Mirage Inc. should file for bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

They want the Las Vegas-based casino operator to restructure its more than USD 13 billion in debt as soon as possible.

A story posted on the newspaper’s Web site Thursday citing unnamed sources said Icahn and Oaktree Capital Management hold hundreds of millions of dollars in MGM Mirage bonds.

MGM Mirage netted USD 687 million in November by issuing USD 750 million in notes due in 2013.

Icahn did not respond to a telephone message from The Associated Press late Thursday. Famed for hostile takeover battles, Icahn has spent more than four decades on Wall Street buying and selling companies.

A spokeswoman for Oaktree’s co-founder, Bruce Karsh, declined to comment.

MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the company continues to have productive discussions with its lenders and declined to comment further.

MGM Mirage is pursuing the USD 8.7 billion CityCenter development in Las Vegas. Its equal partner in the project is Dubai World, the Arab emirate’s state-owned development company.

MGM Mirage chief executive Jim Murren has told the AP on several occasions that the company’s top two priorities are fixing its balance sheet and finishing CityCenter, which is expected to begin opening in stages later this year.