Judge OKs Station Casinos bankruptcy exit plan
* Station Casinos sees Chapter 11 exit in 1st qtr 2011
* Group led by Fertitta brothers bid $772 mln for assets
* July 2009 bankruptcy filing, two years after buyout
NEW YORK, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Station Casinos Inc said on Friday it won permission to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy under a plan putting most assets under the control of a group led by Chairman Frank Fertitta and his brother, Vice Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gregg Zive in Reno, Nevada, approved the plan at a hearing, company spokeswoman Lori Nelson said.
Station's still requires approvals from Nevada bankruptcy regulators before it can emerge from Chapter 11, which it hopes to do in the first quarter of 2011, she added.
The Las Vegas-based company filed for court protection in July 2009 after being unable to cope with debt it took on in 2007, when the Fertittas and Colony Capital took the company private in a $5.4 billion leveraged buyout.
Zive on Aug. 6 approved a $772 million bid by the group led by the Fertittas for most of Station's assets. Colony and several banks are part of that group.
"Implementation of this plan will make us a much stronger and healthier company going forward," Executive Vice President Scott Nielson said in a statement.
Boyd Gaming Corp (BYD.N), a rival, had sought to buy some of Station's assets through the bankruptcy process, but dropped out of a court-supervised auction last month.
Founded in 1976, Station this month said it owns, operates or has stakes in 18 casinos. [ID:nBW166663a]
The case is In re: Station Casinos Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Nevada, No. 09-52477. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, editing by Matthew Lewis)
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