Glenn Straub moves fast.
About an hour after a federal judge approved a sale of Revel Casino Hotel to Brookfield US Holdings LLC on Tuesday, Revel’s rebuffed runner-up bidder had already vowed to appeal, shoved a Revel financial adviser, and set out for another South Jersey resort that’s caught his eye.
Tan, tieless and fuming mad, the Florida real estate developer pushed Barak Klein, an advisor to Revel, in a courthouse hallway minutes after a judge approved a sale to the company.
Last week Brookfield’s $110 million offer for the beachfront estate, which cost $2.4 billion to build, was named the winning bid of an auction that ran into the early morning of Oct. 1.
The deal will close within about 60 days, Revel’s attorney John Cunningham said Tuesday after getting the greenlight from Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria Burns. Finally, a closing Atlantic City residents can look forward to.
The auction winner -- part of Brookfield Asset Management, a massive Toronto-based investment firm that owns the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas and Hard Rock Las Vegas -- says it will run a casino at Revel.
Asked about the post-hearing flare-up, Straub said Klein made a “sleazy comment” about his mental capacity. “I’m from West Virginia,” Straub said in an apparent attempt to explain the outburst.
Within hours the scrappy polo enthusiast was at Renault Winery, a sprawling golf resort outside Atlantic City that’s looking for a buyer.
Dennis Del Vecchio, COO of Renault Winery, confirmed that Straub toured the property Tuesday. “He did come here and he did show an interest in investing in the property,” Del Vecchio said. “It was an interesting conversation.”
You don’t say.
Straub, who made the $90 million stalking-horse bid on Revel, has raised a lot of eyebrows lately with talk of “high-speed catamarans,” “super jumbo jets,” and artificial mountain ranges for Atlantic City. And then there was the Tower of Geniuses – a thinktank Straub said he wanted on Revel’s beachfront campus.
On Tuesday he said he’s still interested in investing heavily in Atlantic City. “We’re gonna have a big presence,” he said outside a courthouse in Camden.
During the hearing Straub emphatically objected to a sale to Brookfield, blasting last week’s auction as rushed, opaque and utterly unfair.
Straub said he arrived at the New York Offices of White and Case, Revel’s law firm, believing his offer “was going to get rubber stamped.”
But after battling with Straub for hours, Brookfield offered $110 million for the shimmering glass estate very late Sept. 30 or early Oct. 1. But the company said the offer expired at 6 a.m.
With the clock ticking, Straub said he could not immediately counter because he was exhausted, in desperate need of medication, and unable to reach a trusted adviser. ”I was wandering up and down the streets trying to find drug stores open,” he said.
At Tuesday’s hearing Stuart Moskovitz, Straub ‘s attorney, said the developer was prepared to beat Brookfield’s $110 million bid.
But Revel, and Judge Burns, wasn’t interested.
Revel attorney John Cunningham told the judge that Straub’s testimony in Camden Tuesday was emblematic of why Revel’s bankrupt parent decided to select Brookfield as the winner of the auction and deny Straub’s request to extend the auction, already marred by delay, any further. “Your honor, the rambling comments that you just heard were what was in the minds of the debtors” when they chose Brookfield, Cunningham said.
Barak Klein, the adviser who helped Revel find its putative new owner and experienced Straub's wrath Tuesday, testified that Brookfield insisted its offer was only good for a matter of hours.
Unsure whether Straub would indeed mount a better offer if given more time, Revel selected Brookfield, Klein testified.
And, he said, Revel made the right decision. Brookfield’s offer “was the highest and best,” he told the judge.
Apparently, Glenn Straub doesn't move fast enough.