The casino company that bears Donald Trump’s name said Monday it has hired an investment firm to help it explore its strategic alternatives which could include a possible sale.
Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which lists Donald Trump as chairman, said it retained Merrill Lynch to assist in identifying and evaluating capital structure, financing and other options.
Trump Entertainment properties include Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, located on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., and Trump Marina Hotel Casino, located in Atlantic City’s Marina District.
On Friday, Trump shares rose nearly 8 percent on speculation that the casinos are up for sale amid several media reports that it had hired Merrill Lynch to help assess its options — including selling all or some of the company’s casinos.
Prudential Equity Group analyst Joel Simkins said in a client note on Friday that Trump Entertainment could make a good fit for Ameristar Casinos Inc., Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., Penn National Gaming Inc. or a private buyer.
He sees Trump Entertainment having a difficult time in 2007 and 2008 due to new Pennsylvania slot parlors, Atlantic City smoking restrictions and failed bid for a Philadelphia slot license. But Simkins still views the company as an attractive target for a buyer interested in the Atlantic City market.