Tropicana Enters $1.85B Sales Agreement

Carl Icahn cashes out of casino business with Tropicana sale

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Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is selling his Tropicana Entertainment casino empire.

Eldorado intends to fund the transaction consideration of approximately $640 million payable by Eldorado and repay debt outstanding under Tropicana's credit facility with cash generated from its current operations, proceeds from pending asset sales, Tropicana's cash on hand, cash flow generated from Tropicana operations through closing and $600 million of committed debt financing from J.P. Morgan.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is cashing out of casino business Tropicana Entertainment (TPCA.PK) in a $1.85 billion deal that will see Eldorado Resorts (ERI.O) picking up Tropicana's casino operations including its crown jewel in Atlantic City.

The sale includes 7,900 slot machines, 265 table games and about 5,400 hotel rooms, as well as restaurant, retail and entertainment hot spots.

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Two other casinos under the Tropicana brand, the MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa in South Lake Tahoe and the Tropicana Aruba Resort and Casino, will be sold separately at Eldorado's request.

"I am incredibly proud of what the entire Tropicana team has been able to accomplish over the past 8 years, taking Tropicana from bankruptcy to one of the industry's true success stories", said Tony Rodio, President and CEO of Tropicana. Icahn Enterprises owned about 84% of Tropicana as of December 31, according to a filing. The other properties are in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and New Jersey.

The deal is targeted to close during the second half of 2018.

The billionaire investor had reinvested more than $200 million into the Atlantic City property, insiders say, and Tropicana Atlantic City expanded into the nearby boutique hotel The Chelsea a year ago.

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Gaming and Leisure Properties said, upon completion of the deal, along with the previously announced transactions related to the acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. That casino recently became the No. 2 casino in Atlantic City in terms of gambling revenue, trailing only the Borgata.

Eldorado's share prices jumped 21 percent today after announcing the deal, as well as the $327 million cash purchase of the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois.

In Atlantic City, Icahn still owns the shuttered former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which shut down in 2014.

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