Carl Icahn to sell Trump Taj Mahal Casino to Hard Rock International
02 March 2017
Activist investor Carl Icahn yesterday struck a deal to sell the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, to Hard Rock International and two New Jersey investors for an undisclosed sum.
US President Donald Trump built the Taj Mahal Casino in 1990 at a total cost of nearly $1 billion and went into bankruptcy a year later due to high levels of debt taken on during its construction.
It was later acquired through a bankruptcy court restructuring in early 2015 by Icahn Enterprises, which shuttered the casino in October last year over labour issues.
Icahn, now a special adviser to Donald Trump, is selling the Trump Taj Mahal to Hard Rock International - a casino and restaurant operator controlled by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and two other New Jersey-based investors Joseph Jingoli, and Jack Morris.
Icahn, worth an estimated $20.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is reported to have sold the Trump Taj Mahal for around $300 million.
Icahn, who also owns Atlantic City's Tropicana Casino and Resort, had earlier said that he had lost about $300 million owning the Trump Taj Mahal and would be happy if he could sell it for half that amount.
''We ... are extremely happy with our ownership of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and after considerable analysis and deliberation we determined that we only wanted to own one operating casino property in Atlantic City,'' Icahn said in a statement.
''A sale of the Taj Mahal therefore represents the optimal outcome for us. We wish Hard Rock and its partners the best of luck with the Taj Mahal,'' he added.
''We are excited to be part of this revitalization of Atlantic City creating thousands of jobs to help local employment,'' said, Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International in a statement. ''We are 100 percent convinced Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City will be a success.''
Allen said the company plans to invest $300 million in renovating and rebranding the Taj Mahal.