Timing helps Icahn land Tropicana

June 1, 2009 7:41:56 AM PDT
Who says you can't time the market? When Atlantic City's Tropicana Casino and Resort was put up for sale in Jan. 2008, it was expected to fetch about $1 billion.

But after the economy tanked, a group of investors including billionaire Carl Icahn offered to swap $200 million of debt they had already bought at a steep discount in return for ownership of the casino.

And it worked.

The group is expected to be approved as the new owners by a bankruptcy judge in less than two weeks.

It would then need to get temporary approval from New Jersey casino regulators, and apply for a full casino license, which could take a year to get.

The sale became necessary when New Jersey stripped the Tropicana's former owners of their license in Dec. 2007.

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