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Las Vegas Sands Casino Shifting in Macau

27/4/2009
Remember all those claims that Macau took over Las Vegas at the world’s gambling capital? Well, Macau really wouldn’t have earned that title without the help from Las Vegas itself. But with the economy in the stat it’s in, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, a pivotal player in Macau’s casino success, is contemplating selling a handful of its Macau operations, outlined in a lease-back clause, worth possibly up to $1.3 billion, according to the South China Morning Post citing anonymous sources.

An article there said that Sands was mulling over the sale and lease-back of its flagship casino, Sands Macau, completed in 2004 and covering over 229,000 square meters. Its momentous unveiling represented the first foreign-owned casino to open in Macau after a total industry overhaul to welcome more operators.

With the revised deal, Las Vegas Sands would sell the actual building yet still operate the casino under its license, while paying its new landlord rent commensurate with casino performance, the article said. It also mentioned that discussions with buyers started last week. There are also reports that Las Vegas Sands is in the process of trying to sell some of its Macau shopping malls, with little success.

Although the wheels are in motion, pundits say that attracting serious buyers to a lease-back arrangement would be a struggle due to casinos under construction and the flagging land-based industry.

According to accurate estimates, Sands Macau is earning about $40 million per quarter before interest and taxes are deducted.
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