Nazarian returns to helm at reorganized SBE

Sam Nazarian has returned to SBE Entertainment Group as chairman, president and CEO after a 10-week leave of absence as result of admitting illegal drug use to Nevada gaming regulators, according to a Friday Wall Street Journal report.

Nazarian told The Journal that previous CEO and President Sam Bakhshandehpour has stepped down and that Henry Silverman’s private equity group Cain Hoy Enterprises will not move forward with its plans to buy and develop hotels for SBE’s SLS hotel brand. Cain Hoy will remain a lender to SBE.

At the same time, Nazarian’s father, Younes Nazarian, will make an unspecified equity investment in SBE.

Nazarian also said his company has just made a deal to manage five luxury hotels in Mexico for Mexico City developer Armar Group. The first is slated to open in Cabo San Lucas in 2017, with one in Cancun to follow in 2018.

However, Nazarian’s first job must be improving operating conditions at SBE’s stuggling SLS casino-resort in Las Vegas.