Creditors to Trump: You’re Fired

The Donald loses majority control of his casino business.
Stephen TaubAugust 11, 2004

The heavily-indebted Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts will enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy next month, and is expected to emerge within a year, reports the Associated Press.

Under a restructuring plan — which is being described as a pre-packaged bankruptcy — DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, which is part of Credit Suisse First Boston, and Donald Trump, the chairman, chief executive and largest shareholder, would invest a total of $400 million to help the company pay down its $1.8 billion in debt and cut interest payments, noted the AP.

Further, Trump’s stake in the company would be cut dramatically, decreasing from 56 percent to 25 percent, while Credit Suisse will walk away owning more than two-thirds of the company.

Trump is expected to pony up nearly $71 million; $55 million in the form of a co-investment with Credit Suisse and $15.9 million which would come from his Trump Casino Holdings notes. However, in a symbolic blow to his ego, Trump also will be required to relinquish trademark rights to his name and likeness for use with casino operations.

Trump said the bankruptcy will have little impact on his wealth, telling the wire service: “The casinos are less than 2 percent of my net worth, but it’s important to me because we’ve had this company for a long time. It has been good to me. That’s why I wanted to straighten out the structure.”

Trump will remain chairman, but will not serve as chief executive or be the largest shareholder.

According to experts, there’s no danger of Trump losing his personal fortune. “His other enterprises are shielded because he’s segregated his holdings,” Anthony Sabino, an associate professor of business at the Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University, told the AP. “He’s a master at deploying his assets in such a way that he spreads the risk and minimizes his exposure.”