ATLANTIC CITY-Donald J. Trump and his partners won control of the bankrupt casino company Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., when a judge recently ruled that their bid was better for creditors than a competing offer by investor Carl Icahn.

US Bankruptcy Judge Judith H. Wizmur sided with a group of bondholders who are owed $1.2 billion. Their proposal would reduce Trump Entertainment’s debt by $1.4 billion to $334 million and give the celebrity billionaire as much as 10% of the three-casino company he once ran. “This time we really cut the debt,” Trump told the Associated Press. “It was never really cut enough. We’ve cut the debt down to a low level, and we now have a company in good financial shape.”

The ruling ends a 14-month battle for control of Trump Entertainment, which pitted billionaires Icahn and Trump against each other in a Camden court, and paves the way for Trump Entertainment’s three Atlantic City casinos–the Trump Taj Mahal Casino resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and Trump Marina Hotel Casino–to exit bankruptcy a third time.<p.The bondholders, also backed by billionaire Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital Group, offered to invest $225 million in Trump Entertainment. Icahn's plan would have eliminated all of the company's debt, but it also would have wiped out bondholders' investments–a key factor that led Wizmur to side with the proposal from the Trumps and the bondholders. Under the bondholder plan, the $480 million in bank loans will be reduced by at least $100 million and the remainder converted to a new loan.

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