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Financiers, Lenders and Debtors Fight Over Troubled Vegas Job

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Financier Carl Icahn is moving forward with plans to buy the troubled Fontaine- bleau project in Las Vegas by offering $156.2 million in cash and financing at a Jan. 27 bankruptcy court auction. The 737-ft-tall, 4,000-room Fontainebleau, which owes more than $1 billion to its lenders, needs another $1.5 billion to complete construction. There are 342 contractors and subcontractors that are owed an estimated $467 million for work at the stalled job. They have been pressing for the right to take over the project for what they are owed. Lenders, headed by Bank of America, meanwhile charge that the liens filed by Fontainebleau subcontractors are inferior to theirs. The 70% complete development had been scheduled to open in October before cash-flow woes halted work in early 2009.

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