Thursday, February 25, 2010

Maloof: "They're Not Going To Take Over My Company"

I just hung up with George Maloof, who cast doubt on the Financial Times' report that Harrah's has been buying up Palms debt by saying, flat-out: "They're not going to take over my company. It’s so far remote."

Maloof refused to get into any more specifics, repeatedly saying that they're a private company and that they never commented on their financials. I asked whether the Palms had taken a hit during the recession and he answered: "We haven’t been immune to it but we’re doing much better. 2009 was tough for everyone. We’ve been doing much better."

It took a few attempts to get him to react to the report by Jon Berke and Andrew Ragsly before he finally gave me that quote. Then we had this exchange:

Maloof: Have you tried talking to [Harrah's]?

Me: Yeah, they're not commenting.

Maloof: Yeah, so maybe it’s not true.

And, in fact, not even some of my best Harrah's sources, people who know when Celine Dion has a bowel movement, have any knowledge of any new takeover effort. So it's unclear on that side of things. And it seems similarly clear that the Maloof family is not planning to sell out or default anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

Regarding below- I am a knee jerk Harrah's hater though I respect how well they do what they do. I also wonder if all those commercials with Loveman in them telling problem gamblers to call a certain number aren't also routed to Harrah's casino's hosts.

If they move on the debt, it comes to a couple of things:

1. Is the debt performing with no defaults. If so,there is nothing the lender/debt holder can do.
2. Assuming it is performing, what is the maturity date and will the Palms able to refinance it then. If they can't pay it off or refinance the existing debt, then Maloof, who gave you a lousy interview, has a problem.


atdnext said...

Hmmm... And the plot thickens! I'm trying to remember what PHo folks were saying back when Apollo and TX Pacific started buying up their debt.

Well in any case, it looks like Palms will be a much more difficult takeover should Harrah's decide to attempt it. And honestly, I'm glad George Maloof is being a hard@ss on this. The Palms is one of the few great independent casinos left in Vegas, and it would be a tragedy if Harrah's were to let it rot like they've let The Rio become a dump.

Hopefully the Maloofs really do have their act together, and hopefully they'll be able to save their casino.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear George shoot this down (sort of). He is a good man and though he and others are paying for some very poor decisions over the past 5 years, Harrahs is in no better shape financially, and besides they have no idea how to run a property!

Anonymous said...

We discussed on the Vegas Gang, which I'll release shortly.

The consensus was that TPG was perhaps positioning themselves but that it wasn't a serious effort, ala PHo.


robertw477 said...

No doubt Maloof is on the run. I am pretty sure that they will get the Palms as well. George knows this and is running scared.