Foxwoods casino closes on $2.3 billion debt

Tribal owner of Connecticut's Foxwoods Resort Casino closes on restructuring $2.3 billion debt

Associated Press

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) -- The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns Foxwoods Resort Casino, announced Monday it closed on the restructuring of $2.3 billion in debt.

It reduces the tribal nation's debt by $550 million. As part of the restructuring, Foxwoods received $25 million of new financing comprised of $5 million in revolving credit and a $20 million loan.

Tribal Council Chairman Rodney Butler called the deal a "milestone event."

"The new capital structure not only allows Foxwoods to move forward as a stronger competitor, it also renews the financial stability of our entire Tribal Nation," he said.

Bondholders received new securities with lengthened maturities of 13 years, 18 years and 23 years.

Chief Executive Officer Scott Butera said that with the new capital structure in place, Foxwoods has long-term financing at favorable rates. And with cost-cutting and revamped marketing, Foxwoods is now in a strong position to build its gambling and hospitality business, he said.

"The completion of our balance sheet restructuring is an historic occasion for Foxwoods and for the relationship between Wall Street and Native American gaming enterprises," Butera said.

Foxwoods and other casinos were caught short when credit locked up during the recession and revenue has fallen due to tough casino competition in the Northeast. Foxwoods completed a major, costly expansion with the 30-story MGM Grand hotel and casino at the start of the recession in 2008.

Foxwoods now hopes to expand as it competes for a license to open a resort casino in Milford, Mass.

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