(Corrects in March 25 story the year of casino's opening to
2012 from 2011 in paragraph 6)
* Revel to reduce debt by more than 82 pct
* Revel secures $250 mln in DIP financing
* Expects to emerge from Chapter 11 by early summer
* Expects normal operations to continue
By Tom Hals and Jonathan Stempel
WILMINGTON, Delaware, March 25 Revel, a lavish
Atlantic City casino that opened less than a year ago, filed for
bankruptcy protection late on Monday under a plan that would
turn over control to lenders and eliminate more than $1 billion
The Chapter 11 filing, which was expected, culminates a
rapid decline for a complex that cost $2.4 billion to build and
had been expected to bringing Las Vegas-style glitz to a city
where gambling revenue had fallen for several years.
Under the plan, Revel will slash its debt to $272 million
from about $1.52 billion through a debt-for-equity conversion.
The plan has secured more than the number of lenders' votes
required for the court to approve it, Revel added.
"Backed by overwhelming lender support, we remain on track
to complete our financial restructuring ahead of the critical
summer season," Jeffrey Hartmann, Revel's interim CEO, said in a
Revel expects to continue normal business operations
throughout the restructuring. Lenders include Canyon Capital
Advisors and Chatham Asset Management, and they are expected to
become owners once it emerges from bankruptcy by June or July.
Located near the northern end of Atlantic City's boardwalk,
Revel's wave-shaped complex opened on April 2, 2012. It includes
a 1,800-room hotel, theaters, nightclubs and 14 restaurants,
some helmed by celebrity chefs such as Michel Richard.
Its vast casino has more than 2,400 slot machines and nearly
100 table games.
Morgan Stanley originally owned most of Revel
Entertainment Group LLC, which began building the casino, but
sold its stake at a $932 million loss in February 2011 to
investors led by Kevin DeSanctis. The new owners then obtained a
tax package of roughly $261 million from New Jersey and lined up
$1.15 billion of financing to help complete the project.
DeSanctis resigned earlier this month as Revel's chief
executive. Hartmann, the interim chief executive, is a former
chief executive of the Mohegan Sun casino in eastern Connecticut
and has more than 20 years of experience in the gaming industry.
Backers had hoped Revel would become the next Borgata, a
joint venture between Boyd Gaming Corp and MGM Resorts
International that opened in 2003 and became Atlantic
City's top-grossing casino.
Atlantic City, however, has lost its appeal and last year,
the adjacent state of Pennsylvania overtook it to become the
second-largest U.S. gambling market after Las Vegas.
The case is Revel AC Inc, Case No. 13-16253, U.S. Bankruptcy
Court, District of New Jersey.
(Additional reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; editing by
Miral Fahmy and Gerald E. McCormick)