Brookfield walks away from Revel deal; Joseph Stalin running Taj Mahal union?

TAGs: Atlantic City, Brookfield Asset Management, glenn straub, revel, trump taj mahal, unite here

brookfield-revel-stalinWell, that was fast. Just over one month after Brookfield Asset Management won the auction for bankrupt Atlantic City casino Revel, the company has announced it’s walking away from the deal.

Brookfield, which operates the Hard Rock in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise in the Bahamas, bid $110m for the shuttered Revel, which cost $2.4b to build but never caught fire with AC gamblers. Revel is one of four AC casinos to shut their doors this year – with a fifth due to close next month – as the seaside gambling hub has seen its annual gaming revenue fall by 50% since 2006. Brookfield had suggested it was looking to relaunch Revel as a gaming facility following $200m worth of renovations.

But on Wednesday, Brookfield spokesperson Melissa Coley told the Press of Atlantic City that the company was kyboshing the deal due to its inability to reach agreement with bondholders who control $118.4m of debt linked to the power plant that keeps Revel’s slots spinning. The creditors were reportedly unwilling to rework $36m in annual fixed costs connected with the plant’s operation.

Salvation may come in the form of Florida developer Glenn Straub, whose rival bid lost out to Brookfield’s in what Straub maintains was a deeply flawed auction process. Straub was in the process of appealing the auction result and told the POAC that Brookfield walked away because “they knew we were going to win.” Straub had bid $95.4m but claimed at the time he was willing to up his bid to $134m. Straub told the local NBC affiliate that he was still interested in acquiring Revel.

Meanwhile, unionized employees of the Trump Taj Mahal casino staged a march on Wednesday to protest billionaire Carl Icahn’s threat to shut down the facility by Dec. 12 without significant state aid and further union concessions. Before the march, Trump Entertainment Resorts CEO Robert Griffin sent the casino’s 3k employees a letter slamming their Unite Here union for its allegedly irresponsible handling of their health care plans. Last month, a federal bankruptcy court allowed Icahn to void the casino’s union contract, along with employees’ health and pension plans, a decision the union has appealed.

Griffin’s letter said the Unite Here health care fund has made “$140m in net income” over the last five years and had “increased the value of tis equity to almost $300m!” Griffin said Unite Here was “clearly charging amounts above and beyond the cost of health care” and it was “despicable that the Union is willing to sacrifice your jobs rather than risking these profits.”

Just for fun, Griffin then went on to compare Unite Here president Bob McDevitt to former Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin, not so much for the wholesale slaughter of millions of his own citizens, but in his capacity to churn out shameless propaganda. Tune in tomorrow, when McDevitt will accuse Griffin of attempting to force the Taj employees into Pol Pot-style ‘reeducation’ camps, where they’ll learn how to pay medical bills through the power of positive thinking.


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