NEW YORK - Investor Carl Icahn said on Friday that he bought the first lien bank debt of Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMPQ.PK) and planned to team up with Beal Bank to present a restructuring plan for the bankrupt casino operator.

The partnership is an effort by Beal Bank, its affiliate Beal Bank Nevada, and Icahn to allay concerns and criticism over the ability of the Beal Plan to move forward, according to Icahn's statement.

In a statement, Icahn said a conservative approach was needed to ensure the best outcome for the company, which operates three Atlantic City casinos and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy three times, twice in this decade.

This conservative approach, which is the path suggested by the Beal Plan, combined with an experienced operator, will create the best outcome for all stakeholders, including customers, employees and Atlantic City itself, Icahn said in a statement.

He said that a rival plan proposed by the bondholders and backed by casino founder Donald Trump was riskier.

Earlier this year, a group led by Icahn bought another Atlantic City casino, the Tropicana Atlantic City Casino and Resort.

We reached out to Mr. Icahn to capitalize on his extensive experience both in the gaming industry and in turning around troubled companies, said Beal Bank's head, Andy Beal, in the statement. We think that this team now has all of the tools necessary to quickly and successfully emerge from bankruptcy and rebuild a best in class operation.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)