Detroit — Greektown Superholdings, Inc., has announced it has entered into a binding term sheet with Dan Gilbert's Athens Acquisitions LLC that gives minority shareholders the option to sell their shares for $90 a share.
The two sides signed a binding term sheet late Monday, according to a press release, and hope to come to a final agreement, pending approval by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Greektown Superholdings, owner of the Greektown Casino-Hotel, hopes to enter into a definitive documentation with Athens in the coming weeks, it said in the release.
The term sheet sets the selling price of the remaining Greektown shares and protects the minority shareholders, according to John Truscott, a spokesman for the Greektown special committee.
"It's guaranteed the share price will not be diluted or folded into shares, or they can sell for $90 a share," he said. "This was the major issue in the negotiations, and it's been resolved."
Truscott said Gilbert's Athens would own approximately 75 percent of the company following the approval of the agreement. Minority shareholders can agree not to sell, and their shares will be converted into the new company.
The company hopes to enter into a definitive documentation with Athens in the coming weeks, it said in the release. The Michigan Gaming Control Board could vote to approve the term sheet in a meeting April 9.
The term sheet also provides for independent director representation on the board.
Gilbert and his investors last month confirmed they were changing their approach to buying total control of Detroit's smallest casino. In mid-January, Gilbert announced that he was purchasing majority control of Greektown Casino. But instead of going through the board of directors, Gilbert said in February he planned to buy out the remaining shares in Greektown from individual shareholders.
Gilbert already has ownership in a Cleveland casino as well as in a Cincinnati gambling house that opened earlier this month.
As news broke in January of Gilbert's interest in Greektown, the billionaire businessman signaled the establishment could get a major overhaul, even though the current owners already have upgraded the facilities and restaurants.
The casino plan fits the pattern of Gilbert making big investments in an effort to jolt Detroit's downtown back to life. The trend began in August 2010 when the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc. relocated the headquarters of the nation's largest online home mortgage lender to Detroit from Livonia. Since then, more than 7,000 people from his portfolio of companies have been moved downtown.
In that time, he has bought 16 downtown properties — some of them empty, some of them historically important skyscrapers — making him one of the largest property owners in the central business district. His latest was announced Tuesday, when his company said he had purchased the 1001 Woodward Ave. building.
He also is a major investor in the M-1 light rail line proposed for downtown.