LAS VEGAS-El-Ad Properties on Tuesday confirmed the closing of its $1.24-billion acquisition of 34.5 acres fronting the Las Vegas Strip across from Wynn Las Vegas. The company did not, however, comment on whether it made a last-minute settlement offer to the broker who allegedly initiated the transaction. The broker says it did.

David Atwell, owner of Resort Properties of America, sued El-Ad in July for $12 million, the 1% fee he says he negotiated with El-Ad for initiating the transaction. El-Ad subsequently denied the allegation, saying Atwell “did not earn, and is not entitled to, a commission.”

On Tuesday, (Aug. 14), Atwell tells that El-Ad made an 11th hour settlement offer on Friday prior to the closing on Monday. “El-Ad made us a last minute offer to settle before close, but we felt we must decline,” Atwell says in a prepared statement. “Our initiation of this transaction, which we can prove, is very valuable in anyone’s analysis.”

The sale of the New Frontier hotel-casino property was first announced in May. The sellers include Wichita billionaire Phil Ruffin and former New Frontier owner Margaret Elardi, who with her son Thomas owns two adjacent parcels that also are part of the deal.

El-Ad, controlled by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, agreed to buy the property in May for approximately $35 million per acre, which at the time was the highest price ever agreed to for land on the Las Vegas Strip. El-Ad subsequently announced a partner, Property and Building Corp. Ltd, a subsidiary of Tel Aviv-based IDB Development Corp., and plans for a multibillion-dollar redevelopment of the site.

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