After months of tortured legal proceedings, the owners of the bankrupt Revel Casino Hotel have resurrected a deal to sell the property to Florida developer Glenn Straub.Revel’s parent company announced Tuesday that it has struck an amended deal to sell the failed Atlantic City casino to Polo North Country Club Inc. for $82 million. The announcement cites a “definitive closing date” of March 31, though the deal is subject to approval from a federal bankruptcy judge.
RELATED: Latest deal to sell Revel on verge of falling apart, report says
The sale price is about $13 million less than Straub’s original offer in September, when the developer won a court-supervised auction after Revel’s second bankruptcy in two years. That was followed by Revel AC Inc.’s decision to instead go with an offer from Brookfield US Holdings, a Canadian asset management firm, only to see that deal fall apart in November.
The fate of the glitzy 47-story casino — which cost $2.4 billion to build and closed last September after just two years — has since been tied up in bankruptcy court amid several twists and turns. A deadline to close on Straub’s original offer came and went earlier this month, and the deal reportedly was close to falling apart.
In a statement, Straub acknowledged the contentious legal proceedings.
“Although it always intended to close on the purchase of the Revel assets, because Polo North and its affiliates routinely acquire distressed assets in bankruptcy, Polo North sought to protect routine bidding procedures and ensure that process is open, fair and transparent,” he said. “Additionally, during its legal challenges leading up to the execution of the amended (purchase agreement), Polo North sought to obtain clarity on exactly what it was acquiring legal title to.”
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One sticking point had been a challenge from several former Revel tenants, including nightclub and restaurant owners, who sued after claiming a sale would ruin their investment. That dispute was still pending a hearing slated for March 16, through Straub said with the new deal in place, “Polo North is currently negotiating with several of the tenants with an eye towards being open and operational for the season.”
Straub said he plans to spend another $100 million to renovate the casino and to relocate some of the building’s facilities to make the lobby more accessible. He anticipates that a large part of the building will be operational by the summer, he said.
“Clearly, with two bankruptcy filings in less than two years, the Revel Hotel & Casino is in need of innovative management,” Straub said. “Polo North’s principal Glenn F. Straub and his management team have a history of repeated successes implementing new energy and creative ideas.”
The gaming hall closed after failing to ever turn a profit, despite hopes that it would revitalize Atlantic City with a new upscale offering. It has since become a symbol of failure in a struggling resort town that saw four of its 12 casinos close last year.
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