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May 30, 2008 2:10 PM

Weil Gotshal Helps Trump Dump Marina Hotel

Posted by Brian Baxter

Trump_marina_hotel_casino

The Trump Marina Hotel Casino is being sold to Coastal Marina, a subsidiary of New York-based Coastal Development LLC, in a $316 million real estate deal that will see the Atlantic City, N.J, property redeveloped into a new resort called Margaritaville.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges advised Atlantic City-based Trump Entertainment Resorts, the holding company for all Donald Trump-owned casino hotels. In addition to the sale of the property, Trump and Coastal Marina chairman Richard Fields have agreed to drop litigation claims against one another when the deal closes later this year.

J. Philip Rosen, the cochair of Weil's real estate practice, and M&A partner Malcolm Landau led an 11-lawyer Weil team. The firm has been regular outside counsel to Trump Entertainment Resorts since the company emerged from Chapter 11 in 2005. Rosen says the deal took shape during the last several weeks.

Latham & Watkins M&A partner Raymond Lin, real estate partner James Hisiger, technology partner Jeffrey Tochner, corporate associates David Menchel and Julia Shullman, real estate associate Dara Denberg, and technology associate Carrie Girgenti advised Coastal Marina. Lin, the lead lawyer on the deal, says the firm has represented the company for the past eight years.

In December 2004 Trump sued Fields in Florida's Broward County Circuit Court, accusing the Coastal Marina chairman, who worked for The Donald in the late nineties, of cutting a side deal with a competitor to build the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood, Fla.

Trump claimed that Fields used the Trump name to improve his standing with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. (Robert Reardon, Jr., of The Reardon Law Firm in New London, Conn., represents Trump in the Broward County action; Michael Moskowitz, a name partner at Moskowitz, Mandell, Salim & Moskowitz in Fort Lauderdale, represents Fields.)

The closing of the Trump Marina sale, which is expected to take six months, will put that case to rest.

Coastal Marina will partner with Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville brand to refurbish Trump Marina and create a new resort. Built in 1985, the casino has consistently trailed in profits behind Trump's other Atlantic City properties like Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal.

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