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Arnold M. Knightly

Deutsche Bank affiliate files for casino license

4 November 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- An affiliate of Deutsche Bank has filed for a casino license as the 100 percent owner of the Cosmopolitan, the Gaming Control Board confirmed Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank, however, declined to comment on the application, which was filed last month.

The bank would not comment on whether it hopes to eventually sell part of the project or if it is still negotiating with third-party companies to operate the hotel or the casino.

An agreement with Hilton Hotels Corp. to operate the property under the Conrad and Hilton brands has been rumored, but the bank has continually refused to confirm that scenario.

The license application was filed by Nevada VoteCo., a limited-liability company that is 100 percent owner of The Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino.

The bank bought the project in August 2008, when it was only half-finished, for $1 billion in foreclosure after New York developer Bruce Eichner and his partners defaulted on a nearly $760 million construction loan.

The $3.9 billion, 2,998-room mixed-use development is scheduled to open in September 2010 on 8.5 acres between MGM Mirage's CityCenter and Bellagio properties on Las Vegas Boulevard.

The bank officials put forward for licensing are: Jeff Baer, Deutsche Bank's global head of sourcing and corporate real estate; Donna Milrod, Deutsche Bank's head of regional oversight and strategy; and Jon Vaccaro, Deutsche Bank's global head of the commercial real estate group.

The current position of a fourth applicant, Eric Schwartz, could not be verified on Tuesday.