|By Lore Croghan, Daily News, New York|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Sep. 14, 2004 - As a new season of "The Apprentice" gets under way, just about everybody in America loves Donald Trump -- except a group of investors in his money-losing casino company.
The holders of $425 million worth of bonds in Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts want to be paid $39 million more for their debt than Trump is offering in a proposed restructuring. They asked for 104.8 cents on the dollar instead of the 95.6 cents on the dollar they were offered, Bloomberg News reported.
Another group of bondholders has agreed to accept a discounted payment for their debt, and the Atlantic City-based company plans to file for Chapter 11 by the end of the month.
Despite the dissenting bondholders, Trump Hotels intends to go forward with the bankruptcy filing.
"We're working full speed ahead on the recapitalization plan," executive vice president Scott Butera, the architect of the restructuring, told the Daily News.
The plan he has engineered will cut Trump Hotels' total $1.8 billion debt by $544 million, and slash its interest rate to 7.875 percent from about 12 percent. Credit Suisse First Boston will invest $345 million, and the host of "The Apprentice" will personally fork over $55 million in cash and give up his job as chief executive.
Trump-watchers give the plan a thumbs-up and predict that dissenters will settle their differences with Trump in bankruptcy court.
"The bondholders stand their best chance by going along with this plan," Marvin Roffman of money management firm Roffman Miller Associates said.
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