NEW YORK, JUNE 26 -- Donald J. Trump won a last-minute loan today that helped him avert financial collapse, but the bankers who bailed him out obliged the tycoon to rein in his free-spending lifestyle and put up his personal jet and headquarters skyscraper as collateral.
The loan, a culmination of protracted talks among some 60 banks, will give Trump $20 million in fresh cash so that he can meet payments due tonight on junk bonds issued to finance his Trump Castle hotel and casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Within months, his lenders will hand him an additional $45 million to help prop up his sagging portfolio of real estate properties.
As part of the complex rescue plan, Trump must give his lenders a stronger voice in how he runs the business and is expected to have to sell some of his most prized properties.
Both Trump's bankers and outside experts described the strict controls that the banks put on Trump as similar to those required by a bankruptcy court when a company has filed for reorganization after failing to pay its bills.
"This is equivalent to a bankruptcy operation," said an executive from one of Trump's principal New York banks.
While Trump may succeed in avoiding another financial crisis if he cuts his costs and gets a decent price for the properties he is trying to sell, banking analysts said he has suffered a serious blow to his image and faces a long, uphill battle to regain the financial preeminence he once enjoyed.
"There's no question that life has changed for Trump and for his bankers," said Jim McDermott, a prominent analyst at the bank securities firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. McDermott said he would not rule out a revival of Trump's fortunes over the long term, but noted that the Trump name "looks tarnished."
Trump, breaking more than three weeks of silence that he maintained while he was negotiating the rescue package, dismissed the comparisons to bankruptcy as "absolutely false." But he jokingly dodged the issue when asked to explain why he was being forced to accept an allowance for personal and household expenses of just shy of a half million, saying, "Do you think you could live on $450,000 a month?"
That sum, according to banking sources, represents a spending cut of more than $100,000 a month.
Trump also sought to put some of the blame for his difficulties on federal regulators who have tightened the controls on bankers, and in turn made loans harder to get.
"These are tough times. Washington has to loosen up on credit or you're going to have a recession like you've never seen before," Trump said in a telephone interview.
Although Trump hailed the agreement as a victory, under its terms he will have a lot less say in how his business is run.
Trump's bankers will now make periodic inspections of the developer's records to ensure that they meet targets for cash flow and other measures of financial performance, bankers said.
The banks also instructed Trump to appoint a new chief financial officer to manage his properties, and barred him from making major business decisions without his bankers' approval.
"He's now nothing more than the guy who signs his name on the line, and the banks oversee how everything is run. The banks own him," said a New York investment banker who has closely followed the Trump talks.
While bankers and other analysts estimated that Trump had bought himself between six months and a year to sell some of his properties and improve his cash flow, they cautioned that success was by no means assured.
Saying that Trump's current troubles amount to only "a first bump in the road," the chairman of a prominent real estate workout firm said, "There are potholes ahead, and even chasms he might not make it across."
Today's $20 million infusion, from seven of Trump's principal bank lenders, was secured by his Boeing 727 jet, the Trump Tower, the Trump Parc condominium and other real estate, bankers said. The loan enabled him to cover a cash shortfall and make $43 million in principal and interest payments on junk bonds due on the Trump Castle.
That enabled him to meet a deadline of midnight tonight for making the payments -- the end of a 10-day grace period -- and thus prevent bondholders from taking action in bankruptcy court to seize the casino.
The new deal also allows Trump to defer making interest payments on nearly half of his $2 billion in bank debt for between three and five years.
Staff Writer Kathleen Day contributed to this report.