NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Donald Trump's debt-laden casino company said Thursday it has made the May interest payment on its $1.3 billion in Trump Atlantic City Associates bonds.
The interest payment was due May 1, but Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. (DJT: up $0.09 to $2.06, Research, Estimates) had a 30-day grace period to make the payment without being penalized, the company said.
Although Trump Hotel's balance sheet has been strapped for cash, many analysts expected the company to meet the grace period deadline.
But saddled with $1.8 billion of debt, Trump's casino company has lost money for the past three years as it strained to meet its $225 million in annual interest payments.
Trump agreed in February to hand control of his casino company to a Credit Suisse First Boston affiliate, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, in return for a $400 million cash infusion.
The move will remove Trump from the top job as the company's chief executive, but he will remain as chairman.
As part of a balance sheet restructuring, Trump Hotels is also asking noteholders to accept less than face value for their notes.
Last month, Trump hotels said its first-quarter loss doubled to $48.8 million from $24 million as it took a charge for back taxes and as competition sharpened.
Delaying the payment made economic sense for a company struggling to conserve cash, analysts told Reuters. It also focused attention on the need for a restructuring as the company negotiates with bondholders, they added.
Shares of Trump Hotels & Casinos have lost more than 85 percent of their value since the company went public in 1995.
Despite all this, "the Donald," as Trump's called by tabloids, has achieved renewed celebrity through the popular NBC reality show "The Apprentice."
-- from staff and wire reports