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Casino sold in effort to appease antitrust officials


Quite often, business owners must come face-to-face with a business dispute. Sometimes the dispute arises from another company, a customer, or an employee. Sometimes the issue is brought on by the government. The problems can range from contract disputes to problems with demand and paying off creditors. No matter what type of issue arises, business owners are sometimes put in a position where selling their business is in their best interest.

One such sale recently occurred, involving two entertainment companies that operate casinos. Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns establishments in Louisiana, has decided to sell one of its casinos to Tropicana Entertainment for $260 million. The deal comes after the Federal Trade Commission voiced concerns over potential antitrust violations stemming from Pinnacle's purchase of other casinos in the St. Louis area. To allow more competition in the market and avoid antitrust litigation, Pinnacle decided to sell the property to Tropicana at nearly half of its estimated value. Pinnacle plans to use the proceeds from the sale to pay down existing debt. The deal requires approval from the Missouri Gaming Commission and the FTC and is slated to be completed by March.

Though Business sales like this are large and deal with bigger companies with more assets, the Sale of a business can be just as important and complicated for a small business owner. When the business is struggling to survive, a business owner must assess his exit strategies. A sale may be an option that allows the business owner to escape his debt and put any leftover funds towards a new venture or personal needs. Even if a business is successful, selling the business may be necessary to further the owner's professional and personal goals.

Yet, just as with the casino sale, the sale of a business can be extremely complex. Assets must be valued, debts must be assessed, and a purchase price must be determined and negotiated. Once a buyer is found issues may still arise when one party feels they are not getting what they bargained for. An experienced business transaction attorney can help ensure a business and its owner's best interests are protected. This may mean thorough, accurate contract drafting and skillful negotiation. With such an attorney by his side, a business owner can feel comfortable the deal will go according to plan.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Lumiere casino sold to Tropicana for $260 million," Tim Logan and Jim Gallagher, Aug. 17, 2013

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