Colony Capital has a Nevada gaming license. Ronald P. Johnson does not, even though he’s been advising Goldman Sachs on its gaming operations for the past year. Big mistake. On Tuesday, a Clark County judge split the baby that is the Las Vegas Hilton. Feckless Colony will run the casino (and bag the gambling revenue), Goldman will have the rest. In other words, Colony got the gold mine and Goldman got the shaft. As Colony CEO Tom Barrack gloated, all other aspects of the LVH are “subsidiary” to the casino. Johnson is applying for a gaming license and, if he’s been a good boy, Santa Claus may have it in his stocking by Christmas. As part of his scorched-earth exit strategy, Barrack (who has orally written off the Hilton’s $280 million purchase price, perhaps more) threatened to surrender his gaming license to thwart Goldman’s designs. We should get so lucky! But give Twilight Boy credit (albeit grudgingly) for outfoxing his pursuers in this round.
Majestic Star has a new set of owners, mainly Wayzata Investment Partners, out in the ritziest suburbs of Minneapolis. A bankruptcy court cut Majestic Star’s debt from $630 million to $130 million, although the pain was unevenly spread: Senior creditors got 52 cents on the dollar, senior note holders swapped debt for ownership in the reorganized company and everybody else will be fighting over crumbs, if that. Considering the deep hole into which Majestic Star burrowed on his watch, perhaps sacking CEO Mike Darley (a relic of the Don Barden era), should be the new board’s first order of business.
We’re #1! For our fifth straight year. Woo-hoo! Or not.