WSJ: Brookfield Among Four Bidders Vying For Atlantic City's Revel Casino

Canadian asset management holding company Brookfield Asset Management, Inc.'s (BAM) affiliate is said to be the front runner in an auction to acquire the bankrupt Atlantic City, New Jersey-based Revel casino hotel, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday.

Brookfield, which owns the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, has topped Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub's initial bid of $90 million.

On September 10, Straub reached a deal to buy Revel casino hotel in a $90 million deal that will help Revel to exit bankruptcy. The terms of the deal provide for a $3 million break-up fee to Straub as he was the lead bidder for some time.

Others bidders have entered the fray to buy Revel amid a simmering dispute between Revel and lead bidder Straub. Apart from Brookfield, a real estate investor from the Meruelo family, Richard Meruelo, as well as a local real estate developer in New Jersey have also floated bids for Revel.

Meanwhile, Straub is said to be currently looking at floating a higher offer than the current high bid of $94 million.

As part of their bankruptcy filing, Revel reportedly declared that the casino's value had dropped to $450 million from $2.4 billion, and predicted that Revel would not be profitable until 2017.

Revel has had financial troubles since opening to huge fanfare in April 2012, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time in as many years in mid-June. It closed itself down on September 2 after no suitable bids were received in a court-supervised auction process. Revel was built at a cost of $2.4 billion.

It had previously filed for bankruptcy in March 2013, and exited it two months later, having shed much of its debt by selling lenders a huge stake in the operation.

Revel became the fourth Atlantic City casino to shutter in 2014 after Showboat Hotel Casino closed in late August following the Atlantic Club Hotel Casino closure. Meanwhile, Trump Plaza closed down on September 16. The Meruelo family had attempted but failed to buy the Trump Plaza casino last year.

Revel was once backed by Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley (MS), which sold its majority stake in the Revel casino for $30 million in March 2011 after suffering a $1.2 billion write-down. It had acquired the stake in April 2006.

Revel casino hotel featured two nightclubs, 13 restaurants, two live entertainment venues and multiple swimming pools. Its hotel tower is the tallest structure in Atlantic City and the second tallest in the state of New Jersey at 57 stories. It is also the second tallest casino tower in the U.S.

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