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Brookfield Wins Auction and Gets Atlantic City’s Revel Casino

Oct 04, 2014 - by Monica Erdei
Revel Casino: $2.4 billion two years ago, $110 million now

Revel Casino: $2.4 billion two years ago, $110 million now

Build at a cost of $2.4 billion two years ago, the Revel Casino was bought by a Canadian company at a price of just $110 million.

About 8,000 Atlantic City casino employees have lost their jobs so far this year, but there’s new hope for them now that the Revel Casino Hotel has a new owner. Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management has won the auction for the now bankrupt venue, with an offer of $110 million.

After filing for bankruptcy for the second time since it opened in 2012, the Revel finally closed its doors on September 2. The casino had been in business for just two years, and is one of four Atlantic City gambling venues to shut down this year.

According to gambling news, the Trump Taj Mahal may be the fifth one, with owners threatening to close it on November 13.

CBC News: Brookfield submits top bid for closed Atlantic City casino Revel

Brookfield Asset Management, a company based in Toronto, has won the auction for the Revel Casino Hotel located in New Jersey’s Atlantic City, with a bid of $110 million. The casino filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and was looking for a new buyer.

Although the initial deadline was Monday, the auction was extended into its third day on Wednesday. This was when Brookfield was revealed as the company that submitted the winning bid. Having $200 billion in assets under management, the Canadian company owns the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as well as the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

“Revel is a brand new trophy asset on the beachfront, which we are acquiring at a substantial discount to replacement cost,” company spokesman Andy Willis told the press.

“We’re not currently in a position to discuss the business plan as we continue to explore various options [but] we will be in discussions with all parties and partners involved to formulate a feasible plan that ensures the long term viability of this property as a resort destination.”

Along with Brookfield, several other companies have been trying to get their hands on the casino. The gambling venue cost $2.4 billion to build, so the price Brookfield paid was much lower. Its original bid was at $98 million, but the company sweetened the offer to $98 million in order to secure the deal.

RTT News: WSJ: Brookfield Among Four Bidders Vying For Atlantic City’s Revel Casino

Four bidders competed in an auction to acquire Atlantic City’s Revel casino and hotel, after the business went bankrupt this year.

Canadian company Brookfield Asset Management, who owns the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, was the front runner in the auction, according to an article published in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The company has topped Florida-based real estate developer Glenn Straub’s $90 million bid.

Straub offered to buy Revel casino hotel in a $90 million deal that was supposed to help the casino exit bankruptcy. For some time, he was the lead bidder, but now other takers have stepped up with better solutions. Apart from Brookfield, the casino’s management has received offers from a real estate investor from the Meruelo family, Richard Meruelo, and from a New Jersey real estate developer.

According to Revel’s bankruptcy filing, the casino’s value dropped from $2.4 billion to as low as $450 million. Experts predicted that the business would not be able to get back on its feet until 2017. The Revel was never among the city’s most profitable venues; it has had financial troubles ever since it opened to huge fanfare in April 2012, with a $2.4 billion investment.

By June 2014, the Revel was filing for bankruptcy for the second time, and on September 2 the casino closed because it had received no suitable bids to recover from its financial problems.

Wall Street Journal: Four Bidders Vying for Atlantic City’s Revel Casino

Things are heating up at the auction to sell the now bankrupt Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Newspapers wrote the auction has been shrouded in secrecy from the very beginning, sparking a dispute between the casino and lead bidder Glenn Straub.

“Our topping offer of $95 million will also contain terms giving priority to workers who lost their jobs when Revel shut down,” Straub’s lawyer Craig Galle explained. According to the attorney, the Florida-based developer “is committed to helping employees and their families that were affected by the Revel bankruptcy.”

An affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management has recently entered the bidding, topping the initial $90 million offer. However, if Straub loses the auction, he is entitled to a $3 million breakup fee for serving as the lead bidder.

The real estate developer’s attorneys are claiming Revel has broken an earlier agreement to disclose information about competing bids. “Any degree of confidence in [Revel’s lawyers’] ability to conduct a fair auction is nonexistent,” they told reporters of the Wall Street Journal.

But Revel lawyer John Cunningham has disputed allegations that the auction was conducted in an unfair manner. “This is a baseless objection,” he said. “The allegations of unethical conduct are just absolutely false.”

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