Monday, November 23, 2009

Carl Icahn Starts Bidding War for F-bleau

Oh, this may start to get fun...

Investor Carl Icahn today offered $141 million to buy Fontainebleau Las Vegas, outbidding Penn National Gaming.

Penn National has not yet disclosed whether it will offer a higher bid.

Icahn's bid was presented to Fontainebleau's bankruptcy judge today, and a hearing on the issue was under way in the afternoon Miami time.

Penn National last week offered $101.5 million -- $50 million in cash and a loan of $51.5 million.

An attorney for Fontainebleau, Scott Baena, told Bankruptcy Judge A. Jay Cristol today that Icahn initially offered a bid last week exceeding Penn's bid by $25 million. He said Penn National then matched that higher bid.

Icahn then offered another $10 million today, bringing his bid to $136 million, Baena said.

During today's hearing, an attorney for Penn National left and called his client, returning with a bid $500,000 higher than Icahn's and sweetening the deal with other provisions. An attorney for Icahn then countered by boosting Icahn's bid by $5 million to $141 million.

Yep, the legendary Wall Street investor/takeover expert now wants in on the action at F-bleau. At the very least, that should make the bankruptcy proceedings that much more interesting.

And don't be surprised if Icahn actually gets it. Remember that just last year he sold his interest in The Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie's (both locations), and The Aquarius in Laughlin. He's no stranger to casino gaming, so it will be fascinating to watch him open F-bleau should his bid succeed.

I guess if anyone can turn a profit on The Fontainebleau, Carl Icahn can. Let's see if Penn National steps up its game and offers more to finish what's fast becoming the most ridiculous boondoggle ever seen on the Las Vegas Strip.

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