MGM Mirage-Atlantic City specualtion still percolates

Speculation in Atlantic City continues to bubble over whether or not MGM Mirage wants to pull out of the market all together.

Late last year, the casino operator said it was delaying plans to build a $5 billion hotel-casino complex on 72 acres it owns adjacent to the Borgata. The company has a 50-50 joint venture agreement with Boyd Gaming Corp., which operates the Borgata.

A spokesman for MGM Mirage told the Press of Atlantic City last week the company might consider selling 14 acres it owns in the Marina District next to the Trump Marina, but wouldn’t rule out selling the 72-acre site next to the Borgata.

MGM Mirage has been attempting to increase its balance sheet liquidity. In December, the company agreed to sell Treasure Island to former New Frontier owner Phil Ruffin for $775 million.  

“We, as a corporation, are looking to sell noncore assets. Noncore assets would be typically some of the large real estate holdings our company has," MGM Mirage spokesman Gordon Absher told the newspaper. "We are best known for our world-famous resort brands. But what is less known is that we are the largest landholder on the Las Vegas Strip and also have strategic holdings elsewhere, including Atlantic City."

Also on the table could be MGM Mirage’s stake in the Borgata. But Boyd Gaming, the logical buyer, is not currently in a financial position to acquire the other half of the development.

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