|By Suzette Parmley, The Philadelphia
InquirerMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 31, 2009 --The trustee of the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City reached an agreement late last night with a group of secured lenders including developer Carl Icahn to set a $200 million minimum bid in a bankruptcy auction.
Icahn's group will act as the so-called stalking horse in a bankruptcy auction for the troubled casino, whose owner was stripped of its license in December 2007.
The agreement was reached at 11:35 last night.
At a hearing last month, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission said the two groups had to reach an agreement before the auction process could proceed.
The Cordish Co. of Baltimore expressed interest in the casino last fall, but has made no formal offer.
Cordish said it continues to be interested in the property, which is one of the largest hotels in Atlantic City with almost 3,000 rooms.
"We are pleased the sale process is moving forward and that we have now reached agreement with the secured lender group on terms of a minimum credit bid for the Tropicana," said Gary S. Stein, a retired State Supreme Court Justice who was put in charge of the casino. "It is my expectation that this stalking horse bid will generate substantial interest from multiple bidders, leading to a robust auction that achieves the highest price possible in light of current conditions in the gaming industry.
The Tropicana has continued to operate.
Icahn owned the Sands Hotel Casino on the Boardwalk before selling it in early 2007.
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