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Takeover offer for Riviera is withdrawn

December 14, 2006|From the Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Bidders seeking to take over casino operator Riviera Holdings Corp. have withdrawn their offer after they were unable to persuade shareholders to sell for $21 a share, real estate developer Ian Bruce Eichner said Wednesday.

Eichner and a member of New York-based D.E. Shaw Group last month offered to take the company private for $262.5 million, but the share price promptly shot above $21 on speculation that a higher bid would emerge.

"There were several shareholders that I spoke to that were unwilling to support the bid," Eichner said.

"Shaw and I didn't feel that it was sensible to pursue it today."

Eichner's comments came after Riviera announced Wednesday that a 30-day exclusive negotiating period, in which the group could talk to other shareholders directly and seek regulatory approval, had expired without a deal being reached.

Shares of Riviera fell 62 cents Wednesday to $22.69.

Riviera owns the Riviera Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip and the Black Hawk Casino in Black Hawk, Colo.

Eichner is developing a $2.4-billion casino resort, the Cosmopolitan, on the Las Vegas Strip south of the Bellagio hotel-casino. He said he was still interested in acquiring Riviera.

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