Trump Casinos Win Third Extension on $1.25B Debt

Trump Entertainment Resorts has, for a third time, won some wiggle room as it struggles under the weight of $53.1 million in payments due twice a year to bond holders.

Donald Trump's casino company -- the real estate mogul is chairman of its board and the company's largest shareholder but no longer controls it -- won a third extension Wednesday of the deadline for it to restructure $1.25 billion in debt.

The new deadline, set jointly by the company and its bondholders, is Feb. 11.

If the two sides cannot work out a deal, many analysts believe Trump Entertainment would have to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company owns three Atlantic City casinos but is in the process of selling one, Trump Marina Hotel Casino, to a former protégé of Donald Trump.

"Progress continues to be made, enough for all of us to continue talking and working this out," company CEO Mark Juliano said.

The company skipped its payment that was due Dec. 1, 2008, as it was permitted to do under a grace period, and began talks with bond holders on restructuring the debt.

The debt has held Trump's casinos back for decades -- even after two previous bankruptcies that whittled it down but did not eliminate it.

Now, the company's struggle is compounded by the severe economic downturn and new competition from slots parlors in Pennsylvania and New York.

The company's stock closed Wednesday at 23.5 cents a share, down a half-cent.   

Trump Entertainment declined to say who are its key bondholders or who represents them.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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