BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: With us now on the phone is Donald Trump (search), chairman and soon to be former CEO of Trump Hotel & Casino Resort. Donald, thank you so much for joining us.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN, TRUMP HOTEL & CASINO RESORT: OK. Absolutely.
BUTTNER: So you filed for bankruptcy (search).
TRUMP: What we have done is reduced the debt very substantially, and we’re in the process of reducing the debt by about $544 million. We’re going to be reducing the interest rate from approximately 12 percent to 7.875 percent, and we’re extending the debt out for about 10 years. It frees up $110 million a year in cash flow.
And, you know, while, this is a very small percentage of my net worth, it’s still a company that is important to me from the standpoint of making it work, and this is a deal we have been working on long and hard for a long period of time. And this really creates a strong company. I’m investing almost $71 million in the company.
BUTTNER: But how does this make you feel? I mean, in some ways, is this a failure for you?
TRUMP: No, I think it’s hopefully a success for me. I mean, we are creating a terrific company. And we are creating a great cash flow company, and a company that is going to save about $110 million a year in interest expense. And no, it makes me feel, you know, very good. I mean, this was the solution to a lot of junk bond debt.
BUTTNER: You’re not used to taking orders from anybody else. You will be retaining the title of chairman, but you won’t have any executive duties.
TRUMP: Well, I can tell you that, you know, I can’t be in Atlantic City, I can’t be everywhere. I could have been if I wanted to.
BUTTNER: Sure, you can, that’s what we know about the Donald.
TRUMP: But I can’t be there all the time. And somebody close to me will be appointed, and you know, my relationship with Credit Suisse has been fantastic over the years. They are putting up money with me. We are both putting up a lot of money. And it really brings the company down to a de-leveraged state, and we’re really happy about it. I think it is going to be a terrific company in the years to come.
BUTTNER: Now, you have gone through this before and you’ve come back in a spectacular way. You had three casinos that ended up in Chapter 11 in the early ‘90s, and still you stayed in the business. It’s a tough one.
TRUMP: Well, it’s not an easy business, but you know, the interest rates that you have to pay for junk bonds are just too much for this business, and when we’re capitalizing the company, I’ll end up owning approximately 25 percent of the company. I’ll be chairman of the company, and, frankly, I think I’ll be just as active as before.
Now, we’ll be able to expand the facilities like the Taj Mahal and the Plaza. We’ll be able to expand them, and put some rooms in. And again, it’s a very small portion of my net worth, maybe less than 2 percent, but to be honest with you, it is a very important company to me, because I have been there for a long time.
BUTTNER: All right, Donald Trump, thanks so much for joining us.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
BUTTNER: Appreciate it.
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