Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why Call Him "Billionaire" Bluhm?

Viewer & reader Ted Couperus writes:

Why do you as well as all the other news folks on WTAE refer to Neil Bluhm as "Billionaire Neil Bluhm"? I didn't hear anyone refer to Don Barden as "Millionaire Don Barden". It seems very strange to use someone's alleged net worth as part of their name almost like it is a title.

It's a fair question.

While a billion dollars may not buy what it used to, it's still a significant mark of distinction in the world of business and worth noting. It's certainly in a different league than millionaires and the strata for the rest of us which a local bank referred to as "thousand-aires" in an ad campaign years ago.

Until Mr. Bluhm & company close the deal, which -- at this writing -- they've not yet done, we can't call him the Pittsburgh casino co-owner. (UPDATE: Late this morning, word came that the deal closed, casino financing came through, and payments to contractors is under way.)
In fact, Bluhm has said that his personal stake in the new casino will amount to only a few percentage points. He testified that he does not control the trusts established by his adult children for his grandkids. Those trusts will also have a stake in the casino.

Click image to enlarge.

The PowerPoint presentation to the gaming board identifies Neil Bluhm as "Managing Principal of Walton Street Capital", but that fund has many investors. "Walton Street Capital" has a 74% percent stake in "Pittsburgh Gaming Investors"... which has a 75% stake in "Holdings Gaming Borrower"... which is the vehicle for raising money for... "Holdings Acquisition Co", the casino licensee.

Taking the borrowed money into account, the PowerPoint then breaks it down this way:

Bluhm will serve on the three person management committee which controls the casino. That committee is at the top of a chain which includes a total of four variations of the Holdings/Gaming/Borrower/Aquisition/GP/ LLC/ LP/Company maze of names in the chart below.

Click image to enlarge.

Faced with those labyrinthine details and limited time, we opted for saying "Billionaire Neil Bluhm". The fact that it alliterates is a bonus.

We're not alone.

Google "Billionaire Neil Bluhm" and you'll get 1,970 hits. I'm only responsible for a few of them but I'll try not to run up the score.

A search for my alternate adjective in this case, "investor Neil Bluhm", brings 478 Google hits.

A simple search for "Neil Bluhm" produces 10,100 hits; the first two are shown in the screenshot below.

(PS to Mr. Couperus: I tried to e-mail back to you, but my response was bounced by your internet service provider as "rejected by the recipient domain".)


1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

Call people names if you wish -- but don't call the slots parlor a "casino." The rights to a slots parlor were sold. That's it. It isn't a 'casino.' The rights to upgrade the slots parlor to a casino should net $100-million or more. But, if you call it a slots parlor now, beyond being at odds with the truth, is is shooting the public's hope of a new windfall in the foot.