|Trump Entertainment Sells One of Its Atlantic City Casinos|
By Scott Goldstein
The Atlantic City Trump Marina Hotel Casino will be sold to a New York company that will rebrand it with a "Margaritaville" theme.
Coastal Marina, an affiliate of Coastal Development, announced this morning it will buy the property from Trump Entertainment Resorts for $316 million and an agreement to end unrelated litigation the two companies.
Coastal Marina, which co-developed the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida, will rebrand and refurbish the Atlantic City property which has been know as the weakest of Trump Entertainment’s three casinos in the seaside resort. It’s located in the Marina district, next to two more luxurious properties-- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Harrah’s Marina.
Richard T. Fields, chairman of Coastal Marina, said, "Together with Jimmy Buffett's team at Margaritaville, our plans are to create an exciting new property that we believe will tap its full potential and make it one of the most successful destination gaming resorts in Atlantic City."
Donald J. Trump, who founded Trump Entertainment, and serves as its chairman, said, "They are buying a wonderful building in a great location."
Richard C. Perniciaro, director of the Center for Regional Business and Research at Atlantic Cape Community College, was struck by the "low sale price"
"That's not a lot of money but, Trump Marina has been a loser," Perniciaro said.
In the first quarter of this year, Trump Marina reported a 48.2 percent drop in gross operating profits to $4.8 million, according to the New Jersey Casinos Control Commission.
The Trump Marina covers approximately 14 acres and includes a 27-story hotel with 728 guest rooms, including 153 suites. The casino offers approximately 79,000 square feet of gaming space and approximately 58,000 square feet of convention, ballroom and meeting space.
After the Trump Marina sale is closed, Trump Entertainment will still own Trump Taj Mahal Hotel Casino and Trump Marina Hotel Casino. It has long been speculated that Trump Entertainment was seeking to sell one of its properties to get the cash to reinvest elsewhere and reduce debt.
The company is building a new 782-room hotel tower at Trump TajMahal that is expected to open this summer.
"Now we are closely evaluating the variety of options before us," said Mark Juliano, CEO of Trump Entertainment, "to create value for our shareholders, including additional development in Atlantic City, reducing the company's debt and potential projects to diversify our interests outside of Atlantic City."
Trump Entertainment resorts shares rose 53 cents, or 18.3 percent, to $3.42 in morning trading today.
Bristol-Myers Squibb to Pay $190 Million for California Company
By Martin C. Daks
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) said today it plans to pay $190 million for Kosan Biosciences Inc., a cancer therapeutics company based in Hayward, Calif. The all-cash transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and the offer to pay $5.50 apiece for Kosan's shares is expected to remain open until the end of June.
The acquisition will enhance Bristol-Myers Squibb's pipeline of anticancer agents, according to today's announcement. "Kosan's technology, coupled with our development and commercialization capabilities, will result in new treatment options for patients, and represents another important milestone in the execution of our strategy to become a next-generation biopharma leader," says Jim Cornelius, Bristol-Myers' chief executive office.
Global Ecology Corp. Partners with Brillyant of Florida for environmental projects
By Shankar P.
Global Ecology Corp., an environmental resource management firm in Keasbey, today announced a partnership with Brillyant, Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to target and service large environmental projects in the southeast U.S.
Global Ecology Corp., along with its partner Huma-Clean, specializes in soil and water restoration to remove hazardous deposits of heavy metals, dangerous pesticides and other human-caused bacterial pollutants, it said in a statement. Brillyant specializes in environmental restoration projects in the southeast U.S., it added.
Peter Ubaldi, Global Ecology Corp.'s president and CEO stated, "The federal government recently allocated $1.8 billion for the Everglades Restoration Project under the 2007 Water Resources Development Act. This is only the tip of the iceberg for environmental restoration projects in the region."
Tranzact Picks Up MarketerNet
By Thomas Gaudio
Marketing consulting firm Tranzact said today it acquired marketing data and technologies company MarketerNet LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Fort Lee-based Tranzact works with companies in the financial services, media and telecommunications industries while MarketerNet of Chicago provides products and services for the financial services and automotive sectors.
"We will continue to aggressively acquire companies that enhance our digital, data, and direct solutions capabilities," said David Graf, chief executive officer of Tranzact, in a statement.
Last October Tranzact was acquired by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a New York City-based private equity firm, for $185 million in cash.
BUSINESS: NJ, Texas courts scrap awards from Vioxx cases
Appeals courts in New Jersey and Texas have scrapped verdicts against drugmaker Merck stemming from some of the earliest trials involving its once popular painkiller Vioxx.
A Texas court scrapped a $26 million verdict against the drugmaker stemming from the first trial. The court found no evidence that Robert Ernst suffered a fatal heart problem from a blood clot triggered by Vioxx. He had been taking the now-withdrawn drug for eight months before being stricken in May 2001.
A New Jersey appeals court separately voided $9 million of the nearly $14 million awarded to John McDarby in 2006 by a jury in Atlantic City. The panel found that New Jersey's Product Liability Act was pre-empted by the federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. The Associated Press
BUSINESS: Bear Stearns shareholders OK buyout by JPMorgan
Bear Stearns Cos. shareholders on Thursday approved JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s $2.2 billion buyout of the investment bank whose wagers on subprime mortgages made it the largest corporate casualty of the global credit crisis.
The widely anticipated "yes" vote at Bear Stearns' midtown Manhattan headquarters means the company will officially become part of JPMorgan Chase by Friday. JPMorgan Chase confirmed that Bear Stearns' shareholders approved the deal, and said it would release the vote tally later.
The bank is buying Bear Stearns for about $10 a share. Back in January 2007, before mortgage defaults began clobbering banks and draining demand from the debt markets, Bear Stearns had traded at $171 a share. The Associated Press
U.S.: Marine goes on trial on obstruction charges
A Marine lieutenant accused of helping cover up a squad's killings of 24 Iraqi civilians faces a jury of all officers.
The panel of seven officers was to hear opening arguments Thursday in the court-martial of 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, who is the first of three defendants in the case to go to trial.
Authorities maintain eight Marines were involved in the killings of shortly after a roadside bomb hit a convoy, killing the driver of a Humvee and wounding two Marines.
After the bombing, investigators say, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and a squad member shot five men by a car at the scene. Wuterich then allegedly ordered his men into several houses, where they cleared rooms with grenades and gunfire, killing unarmed civilians. The Associated Press
U.S.: Colo., W.Va. gamblers could be nabbed for child support
Deadbeat parents, listen up: Win big at the casino tables in West Virginia or Colorado, and your kids might win, too. The two states are moving ahead with plans to garnish the winnings of casino gamblers who owe child support. West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources is working on a plan that could be in place within 90 days, while Colorado is rolling out its system July 1.
The proposals are another tool in a diverse arsenal that authorities already have to collect money from delinquent parents.
"We impose the same burden on banks; they must search their records. We do the same thing with brokerage houses and other businesses. Welcome to the club," said state Rep. Joel Judd, a Denver Democrat who fought for five years to overcome industry opposition and win approval from legislators. The Associated Press
WORLD: Iraq prime minister calls for debt relief at UN conference
Iraq's prime minister called Thursday for neighboring countries to forgive debts and war reparations that he said hindered his nation's recovery despite a reduction in violence.
Opening a U.N. conference on Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said his government had kept the country from descending into the "abyss of civil war" but needs to shed the burden of reparations and debt in order to move forward with reconstruction and development.
"Iraq has achieved major success in the battle against terrorism with the support of the international community," al-Maliki said in Arabic.
Iraq has at least $67 billion in foreign debt — most incurred during the rule of Saddam Hussein and owed to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
In addition, the Geneva-based U.N. Compensation Commission says $28 billion remains to be paid in compensation for Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Iraq gives 5 percent of its oil revenue to meet the compensation claims. The Associated Press
WORLD: Pound up on retail survey
The pound was up on a volatile day of trading Thursday, bouncing back after starting the day under pressure following the latest evidence showing the UK housing market faltering.
The UK currency's change in fortunes can be attributed to a stronger than expected UK retail sector survey.
Elsewhere, the dollar edged higher as US first quarter GDP growth was revised up, weighing further against hopes of more interest rate cuts in the world's biggest economy.
Data out Thursday revealed that the US economy grew faster than earlier thought in the first quarter, providing fresh evidence the country may avoid a recession.
The Commerce Department said a smaller trade deficit and more business construction boosted growth.
The US economy grew at a 0.9 percent annualized pace in the first quarter, revised up from the previous 0.6 percent estimate. The Associated Press
THE LIGHTER SIDE: Astronauts to deliver pump for balky space toilet
NASA rushed Wednesday to get a special pump on board shuttle Discovery to fix a balky toilet at the international space station, as the launch countdown got under way.
The space station's Russian-built toilet has been acting up for the past week. The three male residents have temporarily bypassed the problem, which involves urine collection, not solid waste.
Russian space officials are providing the pump to launch aboard Discovery on Saturday. The shuttle's seven astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center a few hours ahead of the start of countdown Wednesday afternoon.
At the same time, a NASA employee was en route to Florida from Russia with the 1 1/2-foot-long pump and related hardware, which was packed in a diplomatic pouch and carried onto the commercial jetliner as 35 pounds of hand luggage.
To make room for the pump inside Discovery's crammed cabin, NASA was going to pull out some wrenches, a spare part for the space station's oxygen generator, and a microbe-killing device for use in the European space lab.
"Clearly, having a working toilet is a priority for us, so some of these things that we didn't need for the next six months or so could wait," said payload manager Scott Higginbotham. The Associated Press