Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has agreed to sell Tropicana
Entertainment's hotel real estate and operations in a deal valued at $1.85
For $640 million, Eldorado Resorts is buying the operations of
seven hotel-casinos in six states, including two in Nevada -- the Tropicana
Laughlin and the MontBleu in South Lake Tahoe -- and one each in Indiana
(Tropicana Evansville), Louisiana (Belle of Baton Rouge), Mississippi (Trop Casino
Greenville), Missouri (Lumiere Place in St. Louis) and New Jersey (Tropicana Atlantic
Gaming and Leisure Properties, a company that owns 37 casinos
in the U.S., will add to its portfolio by acquiring nearly all of Tropicana
Entertainment's real estate, except the MontBleu and the Tropicana Aruba, for
$1.21 billion. Icahn Enterprises said it plans to sell the Aruba resort before closing
on the Eldorado/Gaming deal by the end of the year.
Eldorado will enter a master lease agreement with Gaming and
Leisure Properties, initially paying rent of $110 million to operate the
acquired hotel-casinos in the first year.
Eldorado currently operates a total of 20 casinos and
hotel-casinos across the U.S., including three in Reno: the Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus
Icahn continues a divestment from the casino-resort sector.
Last year, he sold the unfinished Fontainebleau resort site on the north side
of the Las Vegas Strip to a group led by New York developer Witkoff for $600 million,
four times what Icahn paid for it in 2010. The site is being redeveloped into The
Drew, a three-hotel resort that Marriott will operate.
Additionally, Icahn last year sold the Trump Taj Mahal in
Atlantic City to Hard Rock International, which is redeveloping the site as the
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Icahn acquired Tropicana Entertainment in 2010, two years
after Tropicana fell into bankruptcy.