Detroit — A plan to hand control of Greektown Casino-Hotel to its largest group of creditors has been tentatively approved by the city of Detroit and could get the casino of out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of the year.
The tentative agreement was unveiled this morning at a meeting of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The casino would be in the hands to the largest group of secured creditors, represented in the case by banking and investment giant Merrill Lynch.
“This is a major milestone,” said attorney Daniel Weiner of Bloomfield Hills-based Schafer and Weiner, who represents the debtors. The tentative agreement was reached with the city Friday, but needs approval by City Council, Mayor Dave Bing, the gaming board and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Walter Shapero. A confirmation hearing in bankruptcy court is set for Nov. 3, which would be followed by a vote of the gaming board.
The other suitor for the hotel and casino was an effort lead by Bloomfield Hills business man Tom Celani, in partnership with Connecticut-based hedge fund Plainfield Asset Management.
Greektown’s owners, the Sault Tribe of Chippewa, filed for Chapter 11 protection on May 29, 2008. The Detroit casino has more than $777 million in debt.
Chuck Moore, a financial advisor working on the Greektown case, said he anticipates that the tentative bankruptcy agreement will ultimately be approved.
“We anticipate a contested confirmation hearing, but it will be approved,” Moore told the Michigan Gaming Control Board.