Boyd accused of trying to control Station case

13 November 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Station Casinos has accused Boyd Gaming Corp. of "attempting to improperly manipulate the bankruptcy process" in an effort to "pick off and dismantle its chief competitor's assets."

In a filing Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Reno, Station Casinos said Boyd Gaming does not have standing in the company's Chapter 11 proceedings.

Station Casinos asked that Boyd Gaming's request that a third-party examiner be appointed to review Station Casinos' financial records be denied.

"Boyd is attempting to use an examiner to gain access to (Station Casinos) confidential business information to disrupt (Station Casinos) business and

obtain for itself a competitive advantage," according to the filing.

Station Casinos, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the end of July, asked the court for a four-month extension to exclusively propose a

plan to reorganize its finances. The current deadline is Nov. 25. The motions will be argued in Reno on Nov. 20.

Boyd Gaming, which was rejected in February when it offered to purchase a large portion of Station Casinos' 18 Southern Nevada properties for $950 million, entered the fray in a 38-page filing with the bankruptcy court on Nov. 1, claiming it has purchased some of Station Casinos debt.

"We haven't seen any evidence of it," Station Casinos Chief Development Officer Scott Nielson said Thursday.

Boyd Gaming spokesman Rob Meyne said the company disagreed with Station Casinos' comments in the motion.

"Station had previously characterized Boyd as not being serious in our interest in buying Station's assets," Meyne said. "One purpose of our motion was to correct this mischaracterization and to make our serious interest in acquiring these assets crystal clear. The bankruptcy court will determine how these issues are resolved and we look forward to participating in that process."

In Thursday's filing, Station Casinos said Boyd's request that an examiner be appointed is premature.

The company is working to develop a reorganization plan with its creditors that is in the best interests of the stakeholders, but the complexity of the company's debt structure is the reason additional time is needed.

Nielson said the company spelled out the inner workings of the reorganization negotiations in the filing so that observers can understand the process.

"The bottom line for us is that we should be given a fair opportunity to reorganize our company and protect jobs," Nielson said.

Boyd Gaming, in its motion, said it did not oppose Station Casinos being given more time to file its reorganization plan. However, Boyd wants an outside examiner to look at Station Casinos books in order to share information. The rival locals casino operator said it can't make another offer for Station Casinos until the company's finances and properties can be evaluated.

Station Casinos said the bankruptcy process is not far enough along to call for an examiner. In its filing, the company said the appointment "would be disruptive and an impediment to the (company's) orderly reorganization."


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