The owner of Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino Resort has reportedly announced that it has reached a deal to sell up to half of its stake in the 1,399-room venue to American conglomerate Ilitch Holdings Incorporated for an undisclosed amount.
According to a Tuesday report from the Associated Press news service published by American broadcaster ABC News, New York-headquartered hedge fund and investments management firm Luxor Capital Group LP is refusing to discuss the particulars of the arrangement but did reveal that it would close once all regulatory approvals had been obtained.
Luxor Capital Group LP reportedly purchased its 83% stake in the 20-acre New Jersey property once known as the Revel Casino Hotel in January of 2019 and immediately set about making some $70 million in improvements. It had purportedly obtained this interest from former Colorado-based developer Bruce Deifik who had paid in the region of $229 million a year earlier to buy and subsequently re-open the Boardwalk property after it had been sat empty for almost 46 months.
Ocean Casino Resort was reportedly built at a cost of $2.4 billion in 2012 and features a 130,000 sq ft casino offering a selection of approximately 2,500 slots as well as around 120 gaming tables. It purportedly posted an overall loss of $2.5 million for the first three quarters of 2019 but turned this performance around last year to chalk up a nine-month gross operating profit of $12 million despite being closed for just over 15 weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press reported that Ocean Casino Resort was the only Atlantic City casino not to have posted a decline in overall earnings through the first three quarters of 2020 although it did end the year with a comparable 10% reduction in overall gambling revenues to $214 million. It purportedly ranked sixth out of the city’s nine casinos in terms of total gambling receipts but third when it came to in-person gambling at its physical facility despite the continuing presence of pandemic-related capacity restrictions.
Reportedly read a statement from Luxor Capital Group LP…
“We are extremely excited about the proposed investment by the Ilitch organization, which, if approved, will give Ocean Casino Resort access to growth capital and provide us with a strategic partner. We look forward to continuing to grow Ocean Casino Resort in partnership with the Ilitch organization for years to come.”
For its part and Ilitch Holdings Incorporated was reportedly established in 1999 by former Michigan entrepreneur Mike Ilitch while his 88-year-old wife, Marian, currently serves as its Chairman. The family-owned company purportedly runs the Little Caesars chain of pizza restaurants while furthermore owing Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel alongside the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers franchises of the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) respectively.