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July 29, 2014

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Torres to buy out Newton at Aladdin

The fragile partnership of Wayne Newton and Edward Torres as co-owners of the Aladdin Hotel may begin dissolving Wednesday when Torres buys out the entertainer's one-half interest, sources close to the negotiations said Tuesday.

Attorneys for the partners are expected to meet Wednesday morning to open escrow on the deal. Torres will not have to make a down payment, sources said.

The official announcement of the buyout Wednesday follows Newton's decision not to purchase Torres' interest in the Strip hotel. Newton had an option that expired Monday.

The stock owned by Torres, the Aladdin's general manager, is held in an irrevocable trust fund in the name of his four children.

Frank Fahrenkopf, Newton's attorney, said an announcement of the buyout could be made Wednesday afternoon.

Mike Sloan, Torres' attorney, said a statement was expected Wednesday.

Negotiations to sever the partnership began about one month ago and an agreement was signed over the weekend of June 19, sources said.

The relationship apparently has been deteriorating the last several months, as reported in the SUN in recent weeks. Torres also owns the El Rancho hotel-casino, expected to open this summer. Newton bought a 50 percent interest in the TraveLodge, a small casino on Tropicana Avenue.

"I don't think the two will be enemies," a source said.

In the original $85 million purchase of the Aladdin, Valley Bank loaned $15 million. OF that, $5 million each was lent to the Torres trust, Newton and N&T Associates, the company the partners formed.

It was not immediately known how much Torres would pay for Newton's interest.

The partners opened the hotel in October 1980.

"They do want to split the partnership, but there is no truth to these reports Mr. Torres must make an offer by Wednesday," Digilio said.

Under an open escrow, documents relating to the buyout would be held by officials at Valley Bank. A formal exchange of money cannot occur until the State Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission approve the financial transfer.