Lawyer for developer says he's still negotiating with owner of Revel casino on disputed sale

Industries Associated Press

A Florida developer trying to buy Atlantic City's former Revel casino says he's still negotiating with its owner to salvage the sale.

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A bankruptcy court judge heard arguments Tuesday on Revel AC's decision to terminate a deal to sell the casino to developer Glenn Straub for $95.4 million but postponed a ruling until Thursday.

But even after the hearing, Straub continued to negotiate with Revel lawyers in an attempt to save the sale.

"The parties are talking, and talking seriously," Straub attorney Stuart Moskovitz said.

He would not predict how likely it is that both sides could reach a new deal before Judge Gloria Burns issues her ruling Thursday afternoon, but he added, "It's certainly a possibility."

Revel declined to comment after the hearing.

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After the hearing had adjourned, Straub met privately with Revel attorneys, as he did after a similar hearing last week.

Revel terminated the sale to Straub after a Feb. 9 deadline to complete it came and went. In a filing made before Tuesday's hearing, Revel's chief restructuring officer, Shaun Martin, said the company had no choice but to terminate the sale and keep Straub's $10 million deposit because the contract doesn't allow it to force Straub to close on the deal.

Martin also said during the hearing that liquidating the property is a possibility but not one that Revel AC wants to pursue right now.

Straub's Polo North Country Club was the runner-up bidder in a bankruptcy court auction last fall for the $2.4 billion casino resort, which closed Sept. 2 after just over two years of operation. But when a Canadian firm's $110 million deal for the casino fell through, Straub was left as the only remaining buyer.

Straub said he was unable to meet the deadline because of the pending issue of whether he'll be required to honor leases from business tenants at the casino.

Revel is one of four Atlantic City casinos to go out of business in 2014 as the seaside gambling resort continues to suffer from increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC