Trump Trumped

The tables have been turned on The Donald. Yesterday, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (OTC BB: DJTC) announced that a bailout deal inked with Credit Suisse (NYSE: CSR  ) subsidiary DLJ Merchant Banking partners, which would have provided a $400 million cash infusion, has been terminated.

Negotiations began back in February and came to a head last month, when Trump agreed to cut his stake in Trump Hotels from more than 50% to 25% while relinquishing the CEO title. That would have allowed Trump Hotels to enter bankruptcy with $400 million for restructuring debt. Frankly, it looked like the miracle Trump needed to save the company, or at least spare it from a quick death.

When I wrote about this last month, I applauded Trump's ability to pull off the deal. After all, getting bondholders to whom you owe $1.8 billion to agree that defaulting is a good idea is to me a lot like selling ice to Eskimos. It seems the debtors who would have had to approve the deal agreed, opting for tap water and a 99-cent ice tray.

Now that a deal is off the table, Trump Hotels is in a tough spot. Trump himself, however, doesn't appear to have that much to lose.

Come again? Yep, published reports suggest the bulk of The Donald's wealth is tied up with The Trump Organization, his private real-estate development firm. Taj or no Taj -- as in Trump's Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J. -- Trump would in all likelihood remain a billionaire. That is, if you believe the recently released Forbes list of the 400 richest people. Forbes puts The Donald at number 74, with $2.6 billion and climbing. About the source of his wealth, the magazine reports Trump owns more than 18 million square feet of prime Manhattan real estate.

No wonder he's bold enough to market "Donald Trump, The Fragrance" with Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL  ) . (No, I'm not joking. A mid-November launch is scheduled with Federated Department Stores (NYSE: FD  ) as the exclusive retail distributor.)

Ironically, the timing of the launch of the new cologne could coincide with the $73.1 million interest payment Trump Hotels has due. Published reports suggest the company won't be able to come up with the cash in time. And that would leave bankruptcy as the most likely option, unless Trump somehow manages to take the firm private.

Either way, the situation appears at least as odorous as Trump's new cologne professes to be, if a little less sweet-smelling.

Ah, forget about Trump Hotels. Let's talk about the important stuff... like The Apprentice! Who will be next to go? Should The Donald have fired Stacie J? Isn't Ivana begging for the ax? Check out our weekly Foolish wrap-up here, and then go to the Trump's Apprentice discussion board to give us your take.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is thankful he doesn't have a comb-over like Donald's. But he also thinks if you have to have a comb-over, you could do a lot worse than Trump's 'do. Tim owns no stake in any of the companies mentioned, and you can view his Fool profile here.


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