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Trump paid the Federal Trade Commission $750,000 to settle antitrust charges that the agency had brought against him. (Washington Post, April 7, 1988)



Steven Roth

Vornado Realty Trust



  • December, 1986: Bally Manufacturing sued Donald Trump in an effort to thwart a potential takeover bid, alleging that he had violated federal securities laws. “Bally Manufacturing Corp., a casino operator and the world's leading producer of electronic game devices, sued real estate developer Donald Trump yesterday in an attempt to stymie any hostile takeover bid. Bally directors also erected further takeover barriers by giving shareholders special stock purchase rights and by retaining Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. to explore ways to restructure the company. In its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J., Bally alleged that Trump violated federal securities and antitrust laws. It asked the court to stop Trump from acquiring any more Bally stock and to declare as valid the company's shareholder rights plan, adopted Thursday by the board of directors. In the last few weeks, Trump, a 40-year-old New York real estate developer, has acquired stock and options amounting to 9.6 percent of Bally's 30 million shares outstanding.” (Washington Post, December 6, 1986)
  • March, 1988: Donald Trump was sued by federal securities regulators, who alleged that he had violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act in his failed attempt to takeover Bally Manufacturing Corp. “In a rare move to enforce federal antitrust laws restricting mergers and takeovers, the Justice Department said yesterday it will file three civil suits against companies and some of their top officers, including well-known New York real estate developer Donald Trump. A statement by the department said the lawsuits, requested by the Federal Trade Commission, will be filed against Trump, California-based Wickes Cos. Inc. and Canadian investors Hyman, Samuel and William Belzberg and two of their companies, holding company First City Financial Corp. and Roxboro Investments Ltd. Justice did not say when the suits would be filed. The law that Justice said it will charge the three interests with violating, the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, requires that companies notify the FTC when they have purchased $15 million or more worth of stock in a company, and await clearance before buying more. All of the takeover attempts at issue occurred in 1986 and involved the use of stock options or similar techniques to evade reporting requirements, according to the Justice statement. […] The statement said Trump violated the antitrust law when he bought shares of Bally Manufacturing Corp. and Holiday Corp. in 1986. […] The Justice statement said the same brokerage firn, Bear Stearns & Co., made the stock purchases on behalf of all the parties to be charged in the suits.” (Washington Post, March 23, 1988)
  • Donald Trump paid $750,000 to settle federal charges of antitrust violations, the largest private settlement paid that year to resolve similar allegations. “New York real estate developer Donald Trump settled his antitrust case with the Federal Trade Commission for $750,000, the largest settlement of the three cases in which the FTC accused three firms of avoiding reporting requirements when buying another company. Wickes Cos. Inc. paid $300,000 to settle its case and two companies affiliated with the Belzberg brothers paid $400,000 earlier this week. The FTC said they, like Trump, used options or stock ‘parking’ to control stock in a company without actually buying it.” (Washington Post, April 7, 1988)

Golden Nugget

  • July, 1987: Trump reported acquiring a 4.9% stake in Golden Nugget, a rival casino firm: “Back home: Trump also has his eye on new turf closer to home. After leaving Moscow, Trump announced that he had bought a 4.9 percent stake in Las Vegas-based Golden Nugget Inc., the casino operator. Trump has already conquered Atlantic City -- buying control of Resorts International Inc., which gave him a total of one-third of that city's casino and hotelspace. His move on Golden Nugget raises many questions. Does he actually want to take over its casino operations? Or does he simply want to make a quick stock killing by playing takeover rumors, as he did with Holiday Corp., or troll for greenmail, as he did with Bally?” (Newsweek, July 20, 1987)

Holiday Corp



  • August 2, 1988: Trump announced that he had bought 400,000 shares of Pillsbury stock as a first step toward acquiring a 25% share of the publicly-traded company. “Donald J. Trump, the multimillionaire real estate developer, said he had bought 400,000 shares of the Pillsbury Co. of Minneapolis as an investment. The purchase represents a 0.4 percent stake, but Trump said he was seeking government antitrust clearance to buy nearly 25 percent of the company, the nation's fourth-largest food producer.” (Palm Beach Post, August 2, 1988)
  • Donald Trump spent $15 million buying shares of Pillsbury’s through the brokerage of Bear Stearns (which would later be accused by federal officials of giving Trump improper notice of other clients’ major trades). “Mr. Trump, who has a record of buying huge blocks of stock in anticipation of major takeovers, said he had bought $15 million worth of Pillsbury stock over the last week, when nearly 2.5 million shares changed hands. It was the maximum he was able to buy under antitrust regulations. […] Mr. Trump said he had bought the Pillsbury stock through Bear, Stearns & Company, the big Wall Street investment house with which he has often worked.” (New York Times, August 2, 1988)
  • Analysts speculated that Trump’s investment reflected anticipation that Pillsbury could be the target of a takeover attempt by corporate raidrers. “New York investor-developer Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he owns 0.4 percent of Pillsbury Co., but analysts say problems in the company's Burger King unit make it an unattractive takeover target. Trump's $15 million purchase-- 400,000 shares of common stock—is designed more to prop up the stock and interest prospective raiders, they said. Pillsbury's stock closed Tuesday at $38.37 per share, up $1.62 on the day. […] As for Trump's sudden interest in the $6 billion conglomerate, ‘He likes to get involved in stocks and make it publicly known because that gets speculators in. Then he gets out,’ said one analyst.” (Palm Beach Post, August 3, 1988)
  • Pillsbury stock rose by 4% and trading in the company’s shares surged as Trump snatched up 400,000 shares. “Pillsbury Co. stock rose almost 4 percent Tuesday after the food company confirmed that Donald Trump, the prominent real estate developer, is seeking government permission to buy up to 24.9 percent of the company. […] In heavy trading, some 1.3 million shares of Pillsbury changed hands Tuesday as the stock climbed $1.37 a share to $38.12 on the New York Stock Exchange.´” (Chicago Tribune, August 3, 1988)
  • Trump cleared a $9 million profit on his investment in Pillsbury after a British firm announced a takeover plan for Pillsbury that would pay up to $60 per share. “Trump, who intends to sail to Palm Beach in December aboard his $30 million yacht to spend part of the winter at his 118-room mansion, made at least $9 million while he slept Monday night. British conglomerate Grand Metropolitan Plc, which markets J&B Scotch Whiskey and other alcoholic beverages, announced late Monday a $5.23 billion, or $60 per share, takeover offer for Pillsbury Co. of Minneapolis, of which Trump owns 400,000 shares, a 0.4 percent stake. Under the tender offer, Trump's $15 million investment was worth $24 million by the time he awoke Tuesday morning.” (Palm Beach Post, October 5, 1988)


United Air Lines