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Company, Seminole Tribe dismiss lawsuits from Hard Rock deal 4-17-07

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) - A rejected suitor for the Hard Rock chain of cafes, casinos and related businesses and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the successful buyer, announced Tuesday they have ended lawsuits that arose from the sale.

Both parties have agreed to dismiss lawsuits against the other.

The Baltimore-based development firm The Cordish Co. and an affiliate, Power Plant Entertainment LLC, had contended that Hard Rock Cafe International Inc. management secretly negotiated with the Seminoles for seven months before plans to sell were announced in July.

Power Plant, a partnership between Cordish and Coastal Development LLC, was the original developer of the Seminole Hard Rock casinos and hotels in Hollywood and Tampa.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, meanwhile, was suing to nullify a contract covering the financing of two Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos, claiming the agreement was illegal and could cost the tribe billions. Power Plant Entertainment had developed and arranged financing for the casino complexes in Hollywood and Tampa.

``The Tribe is now a leader in the gaming, hospitality and restaurant businesses. We are extremely proud to be associated with the Tribe and are confident their success is only beginning,'' said Power Plant Entertainment's David Cordish in a statement.

Telephone calls and e-mails sent to a Cordish Company spokeswoman were not immediately returned.

``We are pleased we were able to reach an amicable settlement,'' the tribe's chairman, Mitchell Cypress, said in a statement.

The Seminoles announced the $965 million (euro712.23 million) purchase of the Hard Rock empire from London-based Rank Group PLC on Dec. 7, marking the first time an American Indian tribe had purchased a major international corporation.

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