Las Vegas Sands Corp. has entered into definitive agreements to sell its Las Vegas real property and operations, including The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $6.25 billion.
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 $1.05 billion in cash, subject to certain post-closing adjustments, and $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 $4 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.
“The Venetian changed the face of future casino development and cemented Sheldon Adelson’s legacy as one of the most influential people in the history of the gaming and hospitality industry,” said Robert Goldstein, chairman/CEO of Las Vegas Sands. “As we announce the sale of The Venetian Resort, we pay tribute to Mr. Adelson’s legacy while starting a new chapter in this company’s history. 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 Macau and Singapore are the center 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.”
“Our long-held strategy of reinvesting in our Asian operations and returning capital to our shareholders will be enhanced through this transaction,” said Patrick Dumont, the company’s president/COO. “Additionally, as our industry continues to evolve, particularly as it relates to the digital marketplace, we are committed to exploring those possibilities.”
He added, “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 U.S. 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/COO of The Venetian and the connected 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 also said 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,” he said. “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.”