Tropicana Balks At Cordish Bid

Less than a year after losing control of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., the former owners have made a move to take back the property, which they claim is being undervalued by a state trustee.

Tropicana Entertainment LLC recently filed an application with the state’s casino control commission to regain control of the casino. Tropicana says it can operate the property with success under new management, now that owner William Yung III has given up control.

Yung, owner and operator of hotel-property owner Columbia Sussex Corp., only recently acquired the Tropicana brand. He won a bidding war in 2006 for its parent company, Aztar Corp., with a $1.94 billion offer that reportedly dropped jaws.

New Jersey gambling regulators stripped Tropicana of its casino license late last year because they said the property was operating so poorly under budget cuts that it was in violation of state regulations. Tropicana Entertainment filed for bankruptcy a few months later.

A state-appointed trustee oversees the casino’s operations and has begun scouting potential buyers.

One interested party, The Cordish Company, offered $700 million for the struggling casino last month, but Tropicana Entertainment balked at the offer, telling a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Delaware the resort is worth at least $950 million.

Though the casino control commission is expected to review Tropicana Entertainment’s application, the company has said it will not attempt to outbid Cordish.