The Distressed Asset Sweepstakes Begins

Signs of Spring Thaw?

Signs of Spring Thaw, photo by grgbrwn

Here are a pair of encouraging signs of the thaw…

From Forbes
Carl Icahn knows a good deal when he sees one.  Following months of anticipation, the billionaire and activist investor made a $200.0 million offer to acquire the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City on Tuesday…year-earlier bids for the struggling casino were closer to $1.0 billion.

If Carl Icahn can steal the Trop for $200 mil, think of all the other money that could come off of the sidelines to clean up all the rest of the distressed gaming and lodging assets that are out there.  I make it a point to never bet against Carl.  If he sees value, albeit at 20 cents on the dollar, I’m intrigued.

Here’s something else…

From the New York Post:
Billionaire Steve Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group is trying to roll out a new fund geared toward providing funds to companies on death’s door.  Sources tell The Post that Schwarzman is hoping to raise as much as $3 billion for a rescue fund that would provide financing to cash-strapped entities in or on the verge of bankruptcy.

The cynic in me wants to quip, “Blackstone should raise a fund to rescue itself,” after watching Steve “Caligula” Schwartzman throw himself a NY Society orgy b’day party followed by one of the ugliest IPOs of all time for Blackstone.  That said, there are no shortage of flat-lining companies that may have a shot if the LBO king can come in a resuscitate. 

These are two anecdotal kernels of information but if they are followed by more activity of this kind, we could be getting somewhere.

Full Story:  Icahn’s Play for The Tropicana (Forbes)

Full Story:  Blackstone Rescue Fund (NYP)

Read Also: Johnny Upside: “I’m All About Distressed Assets, Yo!”


Full Disclosure:  I currently have accounts that are long BX.

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