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Seminole Indians Buy Hard Rock Cafes, Casinos
(Dec. 7) - The Seminole Tribe of Florida said Thursday it was buying the famed Hard Rock business, including its casinos, restaurants, hotels and huge collection of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, in a groundbreaking $965 million (euro726 million) deal with a British company.
The deal with London-based Rank Group PLC is believed to be an American Indian tribe's first purchase of a major international corporation of its size, the Seminoles said. It includes 124 Hard Rock Cafes, four Hard Rock Hotels, two Hard Rock Casino Hotels, two Hard Rock Live! concert venues and stakes in three unbranded hotels.
The Seminoles were the first U.S. tribe to get into the gambling business in 1979. More recently, they had partnered with Hard Rock in successful hotel, gambling and entertainment complexes in Tampa and Hollywood in tourist-friendly Florida. They now have the ability to expand their gaming interests nationally by partnering with a well-known brand, experts said.
The tribe also will acquire what is said to be the world's largest collection of rock memorabilia, some 70,000 pieces including Jimi Hendrix's Flying V guitar, one of Madonna's bustiers, a pair of Elton John's high-heeled shoes and guitars formerly owned by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Chuck Berry.
The deal does not include Hard Rock's Las Vegas casino, however, which is owned by Morgans Hotel Group, or Morgans'...