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Wed 17 Aug 2011 07:44 AM

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Atlantis developer in talks over $2.78bn of mortgages

Dubai World-linked Kerzner International may default if deal is not reached - sources

Atlantis developer in talks over $2.78bn of mortgages
Kerzner built the Atlantis resorts in Dubai and the Bahamas

Kerzner International Holdings Ltd., that company that built the Atlantis resorts in the Bahamas and Dubai, is in talks with creditors to extend maturities on $2.78bn of mortgages due next month, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

Holders of commercial mortgage-backed securities may receive more than $100m of principal in exchange for the two-year extension, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private.

Kerzner may default on the debt, due September 9, unless a deal is reached, the people said. It received a waiver on its operating company debt earlier this year, one of the people said.

The company, which also runs seven One&Only resorts, has struggled with debt since the 2008 financial crisis reduced hotel values and room rates.

Kerzner’s owners include Dubai World’s Istithmar, Goldman Sachs Group’s Whitehall Funds, Colony Capital and founder Sol Kerzner.

Blackstone Group and Kirkland & Ellis are advising the company on its ongoing restructuring talks while Centerview Partners is advising Sol Kerzner and Moelis & Co is advising Dubai World, one of the people said.

Brookfield Asset Management is among the holders of Kerzner International’s mortgage debt, the people said. More than $1.4bn of the debt was sliced up and sold as bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Representatives of Blackstone, Kirkland and Moelis declined to comment on the talks. Representatives of Kerzner and Centerview weren’t immediately available to return messages.

Kerzner, famous for Atlantis’s Mayan-themed water slides and up-close encounters with dolphins, sharks and rays, was taken private in 2006 for $3.6bn by a group led by its namesake founder.

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