The Sommer Family Trust signed over the bulk of its 57 percent interest in
the financially troubled Aladdin early Tuesday in London, paving the way for
the sale of the megaresort or the addition of new investors.
The deal, which saw no money change hands, would give Aladdin co-owner
London Clubs International control of 85 percent of the Aladdin.
Nevada gaming regulators and bankers for the two companies must approve
“They’re in a better position to negotiate with other parties,” said Luke
Morton, a British public relations executive who represents London Clubs.
“Obviously, they’ve got more of a holding to dispose of. Yes, it streamlines
London Clubs, which owned 40 percent of Aladdin Gaming, received the bulk
of the family trust’s Aladdin interest in return for the $199 million the
British company had already sunk into the 11-month-old hotel-casino.
The Aladdin has struggled as a standalone hotel-casino on a Strip
dominated by multiproperty companies that possess deep customer lists and
lucrative cross-marketing opportunities.
The on-again, off-again deal was struck at about 4 a.m. London time, with
momentum for the transaction increasing “very rapidly” during the last few
days, Morton said.
London Clubs Pengeluaran SGP and Sommer Trust were facing an early morning deadline, which
saw them file the British company’s yearly financial statement with the
London Stock Exchange.
The change of ownership was revealed in that document.
“This equity restructuring will enable LCI to pursue discussions with third
parties who have expressed interest in the Aladdin project and should enable
us to significantly reduce our existing level of investment,” according to
The transaction followed the Monday resignation of London Clubs Chairman
Alan Goodenough, who shepherded the company’s investment in the Aladdin and
its entry into the Las Vegas casino market.
Goodenough quit citing poor personal health, which British newspapers have
characterized as heart troubles caused by the daily stresses of dealing with
the Aladdin’s troubles.
“I am disappointed that my poor health has obliged me to step down from
the board,” Goodenough wrote in a chairman’s statement that accompanied the
London Stock Exchange filing. “I have enjoyed working with my board
colleagues enormously, and I am personally grateful for their efforts and
hard work at a time when my own contribution has been restricted by