Sands sells Las Vegas properties for US$6.25 billion
Executives label the sale “bittersweet” while pointing to Macao and other parts of Asia as the focus for future investment.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) is selling its mammoth Venetian complex in the United States for US$6.25 billion (MOP 49.9 billion).
LVS announced yesterday that the deal covers all its Las Vegas properties and operations, including The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
LVS said it was now “focused on reinvestment in Asia and high-growth opportunities in new markets”. It owns five of Macao’s 41 casinos – The Venetian Macao, The Plaza and Four Seasons Hotel Macao, The Londoner Macao, The Parisian Macao, and the Sands Macao – as well as Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
A company statement noted that “under the terms of the agreement, an affiliate of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. will acquire subsidiaries that hold the operating assets and liabilities of the Las Vegas business for approximately US$1.05 billion in cash, subject to certain post-closing adjustments, and US$1.2 billion in seller financing in the form of a term loan credit and security agreement, and VICI Properties Inc., will acquire subsidiaries that hold the real estate and real estate-related assets of The Venetian for approximately US$4.0 billion in cash.
“The closing of the transactions is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Las Vegas Sands. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor.”
Sands executives said that while selling The Venetian, the property that helped establish the late Sheldon Adelson and his company at the top of the gaming industry, will be bittersweet, the opportunities for the company to pursue new growth prospects are robust.
LVS chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein commented: “This company is focused on growth, and we see meaningful opportunities on a variety of fronts. Asia remains the backbone of this company and our developments in Macao and Singapore are the centre of our attention. We will always look for ways to reinvest in our properties and those communities. There are also potential development opportunities domestically, where we believe significant capital investment will provide a substantial benefit to those jurisdictions while also producing very strong returns for the company.”
Patrick Dumont, the company’s president and chief operating officer, commented: “Our long-held strategy of reinvesting in our Asian operations and returning capital to our shareholders will be enhanced through this transaction. Additionally, as our industry continues to evolve, particularly as it relates to the digital marketplace, we are committed to exploring those possibilities.”
“Our company’s history will always be traced to the opening of The Venetian in Las Vegas. Today, Sands is the most valuable gaming company in the world with an established track record of success in developing and operating large-scale integrated resorts in Asia and the United States. The company’s financial strength, which grows stronger as a result of this deal, gives us the flexibility to pursue a multitude of new development opportunities.”
Goldstein, who once served as the president and chief operating officer of The Venetian and the adjoining Palazzo Resort, said it would be difficult saying goodbye to many long-time colleagues, but he was confident the property will continue its great success.
He added that Apollo and VICI were the right companies to lead the property into the future and that additions like the MSG Sphere, a live performance venue being developed by Madison Square Garden, will create new growth opportunities for the property.
“The property is a best-in-class asset with a talented team of people operating it. I am confident Las Vegas will soon return to a more normal operating environment and The Venetian’s hard-working and dedicated team members will continue delivering a world-class experience to guests eager to enjoy it. I know I will be rooting for them,” he said.