Half of Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City was just bought by the Little Caesar family
By Bob Garcia
Ilitch Holdings will use its business acumen to help turn the casino around
The parent company of the Little Caesars pizza chain, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., has entered into an agreement with Luxor Capital Group LP to own up to a 50% interest in the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. The news that the Ilitch family is joining forces was recently confirmed by Luxor, a New York-based private investment management firm.
At the moment, none of the terms of the deal have been shared, but it is known that Ilitch Holdings is already applying to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to become a major stakeholder in a casino. Mike Ilitch, who passed away in 2017, was responsible for creating the business empire that is now known as Ilitch Holdings. Together with his wife Marian, they created Little Caesars in 1959 in Michigan. Considered the third-largest pizza chain in the world, Little Caesars gave the couple enough income to continue expanding their properties, which included the acquisition of MotorCity in 2005.
Ocean Casino opened in 2012, but after a while, it began to run into financial problems. To avoid a potential total bankruptcy, several purchases and sales were made at this casino, which led to a rebranding and reopening in the summer of 2018. Since then, the casino has been revitalized and put back on track. Ocean ranked sixth among the new casinos in Atlantic City in 2020. During the first nine months of last year, Ocean was able to report a gross operating profit of more than $12 million. It is quite possible that because of this, Ilitch Holdings has been met with strong acquisition interest, indicating that it is very likely that the New Jersey gaming property will soon have a new co-owner in the form of the Little Caesars family.