Donald Trump's casino empire has filed for bankruptcy protection after months of negotiations over $1.8 billion (GBP1 million) debt - and the property tycoon deems the move a "success".

Trump Hotels + Casino Resorts and numerous related operations filed for protection from its creditors yesterday (21NOV04) in a US Bankruptcy Court in Camden, New Jersey.

But Trump is refusing to see the bankruptcy as a setback, as the Chapter 11 filing frees a company from the threat of creditors' lawsuits while it reorganises its finances.

He says, "I don't think it's a failure, it's a success. In this case, it was just something that worked better than other alternatives. It's really just a technical thing.

"The future looks very good. We have one of the most powerful gaming companies the day it comes out (of bankruptcy). There's no way we could have done that without the 'B' word."

Trump will remain chairman and chief executive of Trump Hotels + Casino Resorts, but his share will be reduced to 27 per cent from 47 per cent under a proposed restructuring plan.

It is the second time Trump casinos filed for bankruptcy court protection. In 1992, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Castle and Trump Plaza ended up in Chapter 11 after being burdened with a debt slightly smaller than Trump's most recent total.

22/11/2004 21:18