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$95M Revel casino deal an also-ran

By Holly Dutton

Atlantic City casino Revel is seeking to end a $95.4 million deal to sell the beleaguered casino-hotel to a Florida-based developer.

Glenn Staub, who heads Polo North Country Club Inc., was set to close the purchase on February 9, but the sale had been on the verge of failing after several last-minute court rulings in favor of the resort’s former tenants and other creditors.

Revel Hotel
Revel Hotel

The New Jersey hotel-casino said in papers filed yesterday (Tuesday) in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden, N.J., that it had fulfilled its duty to make reasonable efforts to close the sale on Straub’s terms, but the developer would not co-operate and actively opposed the sale at times, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Straub wants a bankruptcy court judge to approve an extension of the sale deadline to Feb. 28; a hearing on that request is scheduled for Feb. 11, Straub’s lawyer told the Associated Press.

The apparent demise of the deal came after U.S. District Court Judge Jerome Simandle refused to let the proposed sale go through without taking into account the legal rights of a nightclub and restaurants at the former casino, as well as its utility provider, all of which are appealing a previous court ruling that the sale can go forward “free and clear” of their leases. The judge issued a temporary stay on Monday, allowing the sale to proceed but saying it could not do so without taking the appellants’ rights into consideration in the purchase.

That left Straub unable to close on a deal, according to his lawyer. “We can’t close if we have no idea what we’re closing on,” Stuart Moskovitz said.

Revel opened on the Atlantic City boardwalk in April of 2012 and closed in September of 2014. It cost $2.4 billion to construct.

Last April, Atlantic City’s main casino workers union, Local 54 of the Unite-HERE, issued a report that valued Revel Casino Hotel at between $25 and $73 million.

Straub has a history of purchasing troubled properties; his company purchased the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in Wellington, Florida in 1993 for $27 million in a bankruptcy sale. He also purchased the former arena for the Miami Heat NBA team in 2004 for $28 million, slightly more than half of what it cost to build.

Canada-based Brookfield Properties walked away from a deal to purchase the hotel-casino in a bankruptcy auction for $110 million this past November.

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