Trump casinos get deadline extension - Wednesday 4th of February 2009

Donald Trumps struggling casino company today won a two-week reprieve to continue talks with lenders and bondholders as it fights to avoid bankruptcy.

"Were glad we are continuing to talk, and that we have until [Feb. 4] to make more progress," said Mark Juliano, chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which owns the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and Trump Marina casinos in Atlantic City. "Weve been involved in ongoing discussions for a while, and things are continuing to be discussed."

Trump Entertainment missed a $53.1 million payment to bondholders Dec. 1. It got an extension, as allowed under its lending agreement, until today to make good on the payment. During that time, it also entered into talks to restructure $1.25 billion of debt.

Juliano said the company submitted a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon on the extension.

"When February 4th comes, and if we continue to make more progress and all parties agree to extend the forebearance period again, we will," Juliano said.

The new date buys Trump additional time to avoid a trip to Bankruptcy Court - which would be its fourth such trip since 1991.

To raise cash, the company put its casinos up for sale in 2007. Two takeover offers failed, and last year, Coastal Development L.L.C., of New York, announced it had agreed to buy the Trump Marina for $270 million. The sale is expected to close in May.

"Its good that they are negotiating something," said Robert Strougo of New York, who owns some of the Trump bonds. "The stock is in the 20- or 30-cent level.

"They will probably wipe out the stock, and the bondholders will end up with something," he said. "I dont think Trump should end up with anything."

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