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Hard Rock reaches agreement to postpone debt payment

The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas confirmed Friday it had reached a temporary agreement with its lenders, giving the financially troubled hotel-casino until Feb. 28 to restructure or extend about $1.25 billion in debt and obligations.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hard Rock Hotel Holdings LLC said on Sunday the company and its lenders entered into a “standstill and forbearance agreement.”

During this period, the lenders “agreed not to take any action or assert any right or remedy arising with respect to any of the applicable loan documents against the subsidiary borrowers or the collateral pledged under such loan documents.”

The filing was the Hard Rock’s first comment since borrowers on Tuesday called off a threatened foreclosure of the property in New York.

“The parties to the Standstill and Forbearance Agreement are engaged in continuing discussions regarding resolution of the subsidiary borrowers’ obligations under the loan documents and disposition of the related collateral,” the filing said.

In another regulatory filing, Morgans Hotel Group Co., which manages and owns a minority stake in the Hard Rock Hotel, said its chairman had a conflict of interest and had recused himself from any matters concerning the hotel-casino.

David Hamamoto, who is chairman of Morgans Hotel Group in New York, is also the chairman and CEO and an equity holder in NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., which threatened to foreclose on the Hard Rock.

“In light of these relationships, during the third quarter of 2010, the company implemented special governance procedures, pursuant to which Mr. Hamamoto is recused from all board and management discussions and all board determinations regarding the outstanding Hard Rock debt,” the filing said.

All Hard Rock debt-related matters, the company said, “were and are being considered by a committee of independent directors of the board of directors.”

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at
csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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