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Financial Advisor and Bankruptcy Support for a Large Casino

Challenge

A large casino company encountered unexpected financial difficulties during construction of a new casino and hotel complex. As a result, the casino was delayed in paying its contractors, causing work to halt. The casino wanted to file for bankruptcy and restructure in order to gain the additional funding needed to continue with the project, however, the state’s gaming control board threatened to deny the bankruptcy and force a sale due to violations with a financing order.

The casino’s market share grew by an impressive 5 percent in the first year, and the EBITDAR exceeded the prior year by over $20 million.

How We Helped

Conway MacKenzie was brought in to establish order and align interests so that the casino could proceed with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and obtain the financing necessary to complete the permanent casino and hotel complex. We worked closely with the general contractor, led multiple rounds of negotiations, and oversaw completion of the project to be delivered on time and under budget. Additionally, amidst the backdrop of a major economic meltdown, we assisted the management team in identifying significant cost saving and profit enhancement opportunities to turnaround the casino’s performance.

To ensure adequate oversight and governance, our team worked with the existing equity holder and its board representatives to play a role in the Chapter 11 reorganization, reconstituted the board to provide additional independent directors, and facilitated the hiring of an independent, third-party management company. We also assisted with the lengthy sales process and developed and filed Joint and Enhanced Plans of Reorganization, which further maximized recoveries for creditors.

Results

Conway MacKenzie’s actions were integral in securing approximately $200 million in financing, which was critical for proceeding with the construction necessary to complete its permanent casino and hotel complex. The completion of the complex, along with the negotiation of a settlement agreement with the city after multiple rounds of litigation, enabled the casino to apply for and receive a 5 percent reduction in gaming tax obligations to the city and state, which resulted in a benefit of approximately $20 million per year.

The casino thrived post-bankruptcy with a dramatic turnaround in performance and an increase in value from an initial $375 million to in excess of $650 million. The casino’s market share grew by an impressive 5 percent in the first year, and the EBITDAR exceeded the prior year by over $20 million.

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Our experienced professionals at Conway MacKenzie partner with companies and their stakeholders to solve complex business problems and achieve their strategic and financial goals in challenging situations.