(Bloomberg) — Entertainment is trying to hammer out an agreement to borrow another $100 million to keep its shuttered casinos afloat after missing a self-imposed deadline last week to get a loan.Some investors pushed back on the company’s efforts to borrow earlier this month, citing concerns including the casino operator’s ability to raise all the money it needs to repay maturing debt next year and to fund ambitious planned expansion. A group of Mohegan lenders tapped investment bankers at Rothschild & Co. as financial advisers while negotiations continue, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Representatives for Credit Suisse Group AG, which is leading the loan offering, and for Rothschild declined to comment, while Mohegan didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The company had offered to pay a yield of over 14% for a new loan maturing in October 2021, according to the people with knowledge. It also sought to change lending agreements known as covenants on its existing loans to give it more flexibility to navigate a period with lower revenue. It is an extension of the Mohegan tribe in Connecticut and operates the Mohegan Sun in that state as well as other casinos in North America.
The pushback helped prevent the company from getting the loan commitments and the amendments to lending agreements that it was seeking by May 11. The gambling business in the U.S. has largely ground to a halt amid the Covid-19 pandemic, although the casino that Mohegan operates in Louisiana is reopening on Wednesday. As of the end of December, the company had around $400 million of debt due next year.
An added concern for at least a subset of investors in Mohegan’s loans is just how much the collateral backing the debt will be worth to them. The loans have first claim on the company’s assets if it fails.
Some of Mohegan’s casinos are on Native American tribal land, and it’s not clear if investors will be able to fully exercise their rights as creditors, such as seizing and liquidating assets.
Those concerns are common among investors for companies that operate casinos on Native American land, but have become more acute as shutdowns triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak have weighed on revenue and focused more attention on other investor protections.
In April, Mohegan delayed a $19.7 million interest payment that was due for its bonds maturing in 2024 to preserve its cash. But the company ultimately delivered the funds within a 30-day grace period, according to filings.
Mohegan has ambitious plans to expand its footprint across the globe and will likely need to maintain good relationships with lenders and access to the capital markets to fund those projects. Its international expansion plans include a luxury hotel and casino in Athens as well as a resort at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport that is scheduled to open in 2022.