That “The Donald” is a blowhard self-promoter is rarely noteworthy, but the latest episode at his perpetually failing gaming company Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMP) is a good one. Once again, it’s teetering on the brink. Its stock is at 31 cents, and on Friday after the close — when absolutely zero people were paying attention — it announced that it would skip a $53.1 million interest payment due on Monday.
Fine, all gaming companies are having a rough time, so that alone is only a minor Trump demerit. But as Floyd Norris points out, the release includes some hilarious language, designed to shield Trump from any fallout:
Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. owns, through its interest in Holdings, and operates three casino resort properties: Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, located on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino, located in Atlantic City’s Marina District. Mr. Trump is a shareholder of the Company and, as its non-executive Chairman, is not involved in the daily operations of the Company. The Company is separate and distinct from Mr. Trump’s privately held real estate and other holdings, which the Company understands encompasses substantially all of his net worth.
Translated: The problems at the hotel aren’t Trump’s fault (he’s still a genius businessman), and don’t forget he’s really, really rich even without his casino. Amusingly, past press releases have noted that the company is distinct from his other holdings, though they didn’t include the line about his net worth. Of course, other Trump projects are struggling as well, not surprising, given his line of work. We just hope he has enough FU money socked away in case it all goes to hell.
Anyway, we apparently missed that episode of The Apprentice where Trump chastised the loser for not doing enough to disassociate themselves from their failing team.
As for the future of Trump’s casino, Norris notes:
In the last bankruptcy, public shareholders got 88 cents a share in cash, plus a thousandth of a share in the new company, now worth about a third of a penny. Judging by the current stock price, it appears that a new bankruptcy would be even less kind to the public investors.
Mr. Trump has managed to remain in control of the company through two bankruptcies, in part by insisting on it if the company wanted to keep using the Trump name. Can he do so again? Will there be investors willing, again, to put up cash to keep the Trump casino empire alive?