Judge: If Trump’s Deal For Resorts Fails, Bidders May Get Second Shot
MIAMI (AP) _ If New York developer Donald Trump’s $79 million purchase of controlling interest in Resorts International Inc. should fall through, other firms may be permitted to bid on the gaming company, a Florida probate judge said.
But Dade County Circuit Judge Harold Featherstone refused Tuesday to give companies two more weeks to bid on buying stock from the estate of James M. Crosby, who founded Resorts.
The judge approved Trump’s $135-per-share purchase, which he said was in the best interest of the estate. One firm, New Jersey Five Trust Ltd., had begged for two weeks to prove its $210-per-share offer was sound.
After the hearing, a lawyer for Trump, who already owns two of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos, said the Resorts purchase would be final within a week.
Resorts owns one Atlantic City casino and is building another there. Resorts also owns a casino in the Bahamas, holds 12 percent of Pan American World Airways stock and owns Miami-based Chalk’s International Airlines, which flies to the Bahamas.
Lawyers for the estate, most family members and Crosby’s main beneficiary, his longtime friend, Marianne Brandstetter of New York City, agreed they wanted to move ahead with the Trump purchase.
Crosby family members and the estate on March 8 signed a contract with Trump for the purchase, which carried a four-month deadline in getting all needed approvals for the sale. After the deadline, the contract provided for any party to back out of the deal.
Herbert Stettin, a court-appointed estate administrator who recommended approval of the Trump price for Resorts’ Class B stock, said Five Trust’s financing for Resorts did not appear certain.
Trump was the lone bidder who came up with a court-ordered deposit for Resorts, putting $5.2 million into escrow toward the sale.
Crosby’s survivors have said they back Trump’s purchase because they believe he will finish the Taj Mahal, a gaming facility under construction in Atlantic City next door to the existing Resorts International casino hotel.
The structure is scheduled for completion in February 1988 at a cost of $275 million, a sum Resorts sorely needs to finish the project, Stettin said.
New Jersey law forbids anyone from operating more than three casinos. But Barry said Trump would solve that problem.
″That casino could be sold. It could be operated as a non-casino hotel. He could sell one of his other places,″ Barry said.