Sam Nazarian back in charge at SBE; Cain Hoy investors step down

Sam Nazarian announces his return as head of SBE as 3 Cain Hoy principals leave its board of directors

Sam Nazarian, the hospitality and night-club mogul who stepped down last year as head of his company after admitting to cocaine use and alcohol problems, has returned to head SBE Entertainment Group.

In announcing his return, Nazarian noted that three principals from the private equity group Cain Hoy Enterprises have left the company's board of directors.

The three principals -- Cain Hoy Chief Executive Henry R. Silverman and senior partners Thomas D. Christopoul and M. Ali Rashid -- joined SBE in December as part of a recapitalization plan that included a $167-million loan. Cain Hoy also offered to invest $500 million in future SBE projects.

A statement from SBE did not say why Silverman and the Cain Hoy partners quit or if they retracted the $500-million investment offer. But a source close to Cain Hoy said the private equity group no longer has plans to invest in SBE projects.

Nazarian stepped down in December after telling the Nevada Gaming Board that he had used cocaine and was struggling with alcohol abuse problems. The board agreed to give Nazarian a gaming permit for his new SLS casino in Las Vegas on the condition that he undergo regular drug testing.

In his statement, Nazarian described his time away as a "sabbatical" and said he was excited to expand his company.

SBE also announced plans to manage five resort hotels built by Mexican real estate developer Armar Group in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City and Punta Mita.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times


5:45 p.m.: This post has been updated to include comments from sources close to Cain Hoy

EDITION: California | U.S. & World