Icahn Offers To Save Atlantic City’s Taj—With Strings Attached

Oct 1 2014 | 8:26am ET

Carl Icahn may be willing to gamble on a bankrupt casino—if its employees will ante up to save their jobs.

The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., filed for bankruptcy last month and is set to close next month. It would be the fifth casino in the New Jersey shore city to close this year, following Trump Plaza—which shut its doors after Icahn, its senior creditor, rejected a $20 million offer. 

But Icahn would be willing to put up to $100 million into the Taj if the casino’s union accepts new cuts, and if city authorities grant tax concessions and state funds. Without all three, Icahn said, the resort will close on Nov. 13—and getting all three seems unlikely, with skeptical or outright hostile receptions from all three groups.

“Notwithstanding the fact that putting more money into the Taj is a questionable business decision, we share the company’s desire to see the Taj Mahal remain open and preserve the jobs of the company’s employees,” Icahn attorney Allan Brilliant wrote. “Anything less than the union, city, state and country meeting your demands in full would make it impossible to operate a viable company at this time.”

Icahn used a similar combination of tax incentives and union concessions to buy the Tropicana in Atlantic City four years ago.

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