GARY, IN-Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. is selling its Buffington Harbor riverboat casino-hotel here for $253 million. The agreement calls for the Atlantic City-based public company to sell its Trump Indiana Inc. subsidiary, which owns and operates the property, to Majestic Star Casino of Las Vegas.

Majestic and Trump Indiana are tightly aligned in Buffington Harbor. Majestic owns a riverboat casino adjacent to Trump Indiana and, through a joint venture, Majestic and Trump Indiana own, develop and operate all common land-based and waterside operations in support of their Buffington Harbor properties, which total about 40,000 sf. In addition, through another joint venture, Trump Indiana and an affiliate of Majestic also operate a parking garage at Buffington Harbor.

The sale, which represents approximately 8.1 times the trailing 12-month EBITDA, is expected to close by the end of the year. The $227 in net sale proceeds will be invested in Trump Entertainment’s three other properties, which all are located in Atlantic City. Those properties are Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, located on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino, located in Atlantic City’s Marina District.

Trump Entertainment is investing in Atlantic City in an attempt to stay competitive in the market, which has at least one dozen casino properties, according to Trump’s annual report. As part of the company’s effort, it last year obtained a $500 million line of credit as part of its restructuring. Among other initiatives, Trump Entertainment is planning to develop a new tower at Trump Taj Mahal.

Trump Indiana generated $137.7 million in revenue last year, the lowest of its four gaming properties. Earlier this year, Trump Entertainment was planning to add to its holdings in Indiana with a casino in the town of French Lick. He ultimately backed out, citing a higher-than-expected tax burden.

Majestic is a 12-year-old company. It also owns casinos in Las Vegas, Mississippi and Colorado under the Fitzgerald’s name. The company’s properties hold a total of about 1,145 hotel rooms.

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